Minnesota Orchestra taps Thomas Søndergård

The Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård has been named the 11th music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, succeeding Osmo Vänskä. Søndergård, currently music director the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, signed a five-year contract in Minnesota, beginning in the 2023-24 season.

Trained as a percussionist, onetime principal timpanist of the Royal Danish Orchestra, the 52-year-old Søndergård turned to conducting about 20 years ago. He is best-known for performances of Scandinavian music, from well-known composers such as Sibelius and Nielsen to contemporary figures.

In an interview with Jenna Ross of the Star-Tribune of Minneapolis, Søndergård said he intended to balance standard orchestral repertory with “works that have been neglected either because of gender or color. . . . We want to surprise and seduce our audience.”