Following the tradition of North American conductors changing their names to sound more European, conductor Osmo Vänskä announced he is changing his name to a series of emoji, the ideograms, or smileys, used in digital communication.
“I got the idea while guest conducting in Japan,” explained Vänskä. “I had never seen emoji before but I was fascinated at all of these kids having entire conversations using nothing but those symbols. It wasn’t unlike how musicians communicate using our symbols of notes on a staff.”
But the renowned conductor went on to explain that the decision was also influenced by frustration.
“I’m tired of everyone leaving out the umlauts from my last name,” expressed Vänskä. “I mean really, is it that difficult? Oh well, the emoji name should be much easier for everyone to remember.”
Vänskä plans on rolling out the new emoji moniker during an upcoming international tour and is hopeful that it will catch on like wildfire.
In a related news item, conductor Stuart Chafetz announced that he would simply be happy if orchestras could spell his name correctly at least 50% of the time.