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.”