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New Director Leads Minnesota Symphony

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Four world premieres, a European tour and the start of a cycle of Beethoven symphonies are among the highlights of the Minnesota Orchestra's 2003-04 season, the inaugural season of new music director Osmo Vanska.

The season will include the first performances of works by John Corigliano, Peter Lieberson, Stephen Paulus and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.

Vanska will launch the orchestra's 101st season the weekend of Sept. 11-13 with a series of concerts featuring Carl Nielsen's "Helios" Overture, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 3 with 20-year-old pianist Lang Lang and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5. Vanska also will conduct the final concerts of the season, May 27-29, 2004, leading the orchestra and the Minnesota Chorale in Carl Orff's "Carmina Burana."

The orchestra and Vanska will record two albums in the upcoming season. In May, they will record Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 for Reference Recordings. The second, on BIS Records, will feature Beethoven's Symphonies No. 4 and 5, the first in a three-year multi-disc cycle of all nine Beethoven symphonies.

Vanska and the orchestra will embark on an 11-city tour to New York and Europe Feb. 9-27, 2004, that includes engagements in Vienna, Austria; Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Cologne and Stuttgart in Germany; Leeds, London and Birmingham in England; Glasgow, Scotland; and Lahti, Finland, where Vanska is music director of the Lahti Symphony.

Subscription tickets are already on sale. Single tickets go on sale four to six weeks before individual concerts, beginning Aug. 17.