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Concerts with Osmo Vänskä sell out

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The musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra's Saturday matinee sold out in hours, according to MPR News. The concert was added Friday morning to the two evening shows scheduled for Friday and Saturday. Former Minnesota Orchestra music director Osmo Vänskä will conduct. Virtuoso pianist Emmanuel Ax is also on the bill.

The announcement of the concerts, made by the musicians Thursday, comes two days after Vänskä's resignation from the orchestra. The lockout hit the one-year mark Tuesday.

The concerts, which are set for the Ted Mann Concert Hall in Minneapolis Friday and Saturday, are "Vänskä's thank you and farewell to the community and audience that have supported classical music so passionately," the musicians said in a statement.

"These concerts are going to be truly special," principal trombonist Douglas Wright said in a statement on the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra Facebook page. "As heartbroken as we are to be saying good-bye, we couldn't be more honored to have Osmo join us once again on-stage."

The announcement of the concert comes after rumors swirled that Vänskä had already left Minnesota for his native Finland, the Star Tribune reports.

Vänskä, 60, had long-warned management that he would resign from his position if the contract dispute with the musicians wasn't settled by the week of Sept. 30.

The director said it was the latest time frame that the musicians needed to be back to work rehearsing for a pair of prestigious dates at Carnegie Hall in New York City Nov. 2 and 3.

Management cancelled the Carnegie concerts on Monday after the board of directors couldn't come to terms with the musician's union during weekend negotiations, as well as in a brief session before the announcement.

The musician’s union Saturday unanimously voted down the orchestra board’s latest offer, which included a $20,000 signing bonus and up to 10 weeks vacation — but a cut in average pay from $136,000 a year to $104,000.

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