VÄnskÄ, wife to end 35-year marriage

  • Updated: March 20, 2009 - 5:58 PM

The Minnesota Orchestra music director calls it a "painful time."

VÄnskÄ, wife to end 35-year marriage

Osmo Vänskä, music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, and his wife of 35 years, Pirkko, are splitting.

"I'm sorry to share that my wife, Pirkko, and I are separating, pending divorce proceedings," Vänskä said in a statement released by the orchestra. "We thank you for your support and for respecting our privacy during this painful time."

Vänskä, at right, has been the orchestra's music director since 2003 and is credited with bringing the group to renewed international acclaim. A recent European tour brought strong reviews in London, Berlin and Vienna.

Pirkko Vänskä has done some freelance drama criticism. The couple have three grown children in Finland, where Osmo Vänskä was music director of the Lahti Symphony. They still own a home in Riihimäki, Finland, in addition to their Minneapolis condominium. Vänskä is under contract until 2011 with the Minnesota Orchestra.

GRAYDON ROYCE

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