The Minnesota Orchestra will resume recording sessions this spring to complete its cycle of Jean Sibelius symphonies.
The project had been put on hiatus during the 16-month lockout of musicians that ended a year ago.
Following live performances of Sibelius’ Third, Sixth and Seventh symphonies, the orchestra will record the works in nine sessions in May and June at Orchestra Hall with the Swedish label BIS Records. A release date was not announced.
Music director Osmo Vänskä and the orchestra have released two other albums of the Finnish composer’s symphonies on BIS to good receptions. The recording of the Second and Fifth Symphonies, issued in January 2012, earned a Grammy nomination. The second album, featuring the First and Fourth, was released a year later and won the 2014 Grammy Award for best orchestral performance.
“It will be a happy occasion when we again bring together BIS and our orchestra,” said Vänskä in a statement. “This is meaningful repertoire to us, and it will be very gratifying for us to complete the circle on this project.”
The recording fees will be underwritten by an anonymous donor.
The orchestra and BIS, led by producer Rob Suff, have achieved several recording successes together, including a five-disc Beethoven symphony cycle that the New York Times wrote “may be the definitive [cycle] of our time.” Others included Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony; an album featuring the oratorio “To Be Certain of the Dawn,” composed by the late Stephen Paulus with libretto by Michael Dennis Browne; and a pair of Beethoven piano concerto albums with Yevgeny Sudbin.
“Recordings have played a pivotal role in shining an international spotlight on the depth and artistry of the Vänskä-Minnesota Orchestra partnership,” president and CEO Kevin Smith said in a news release. He added that recordings continue to be part of the strategy to maintain the orchestra’s visibility and sound.
“Finishing our Sibelius symphony cycle is an enormously important marker for us,” said cellist Marcia Peck.
Founded as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1903, the Minnesota Orchestra issued its first recording in 1924 and has since recorded more than 450 works.