Breaking News: Vänskä Changes Name To Emoji

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.

Beloved Finnish Conductor
Conductor Osmo Vänskä’s new emojified name.

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.

The many misspellings of Stuart Chafetz
The many misspellings of Stuart Chafetz

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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