The Minnesota Orchestra's maestro Osmo Vänskä will become the next music director of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra.
He starts the job January 2020 and will hold it concurrently with his music director position here. South Korea's flagship orchestra announced the news Wednesday night.
"The SPO role will not change his commitment in Minnesota at all," orchestra spokeswoman Gwen Pappas said by email, "as he will continue to be based in Minneapolis and to lead the same number of concert, tour and recording weeks with our Orchestra as anticipated."
Vänskä announced in December that he will step down as the Minnesota Orchestra's music director when his contract is up in 2022. That will bring his tenure with the symphony orchestra to 19 years, matching its two longest-serving music directors.
Vänskä has guest conducted the Seoul Philharmonic "maybe three or four times," he said in a video on its website, "and I have always had a great time."
"The orchestra is full of enthusiasm, full of high skills and this kind of will to make music," he said. "I'm super excited to be able to start working with that group of musicians."
In addition to his role as conductor and artistic leader of the Minnesota Orchestra, Vänskä is also conductor laureate with the Lahti Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
The Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra has been without a music director since 2015. In a statement, its CEO Annette Kang praised Vänskä as the "ideal leader" to bring the orchestra "into the next era."
"His relationship with the orchestra has produced some of the most electrifying concerts we’ve heard these last few years," she said. "It is clear that his music making with our musicians is grounded in deep mutual respect and admiration."