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Minnesota Orchestra is still hiring. Musicians need not apply.

The players have been locked out since October, but the organisation needs a new Event and Facility Sales Manager.

That’s in addition to the existing Events and Services Manager. And the Events and Personnel Manager, the Assistant Events and Personnel Manager, the Manager of Concert Enhancements and Concessions and a dozen more positions listed under Marketing.

You thought an orchestra was there to play music? Not in Minnesota. Definitively not.

Here’s the latest vacancy.


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  1. Ha! It gets better! The position is aimed at renting out the facilities to other events, i.e. not the orchestra.

    MAJOR JOB FUNCTIONS (Typical work routine includes but is not limited to):
    Develop and implement sales strategies and tactics to secure and execute private, community, and business rentals for Orchestra Hall including:

    Community non-profit events
    Donor-hosted events
    Business meetings and presentations
    Parties and banquets
    Weddings and receptions
    Special occasions
    Graduation ceremonies
    Political gatherings
    Educational activities
    Conventions and trade shows
    Exhibits and displays
    Internal events

  2. Agreed: looks like management has decided to capitalise on the venue. Who needs an orchestra? Next step will probably be to disband the orchestra because management thinks they’re a troublesome lot anyway, and set up a new orchestra that conforms to management’s diktat. Sad times.

    • This makes me think of how the Board of the Miami based Florida Philharmonic shut it down in 2003. Shortly afterwards, the Cleveland Orchestra’s residency program in Miami was announced. Why support a local orchestra when you can rent an orchestra for much cheaper?

      One Board member of the Florida Phil, Daniel Lewis, was a native of Cleveland. While serving on the board of the Florida Philharmonic, Lewis made large contributions to the Cleveland Orchestra, including a single donation of $10 million, the largest in the history of the orchestra. Some of the Miami musicians felt Lewis was instrumental in shutting down the Florida Phil in order to give the residency to Cleveland. In any case, and for all practical purposes, Cleveland is essentially working as a scab orchestra in Miami – a city with a metro population of 5.5 million that does not have its own professional orchestra.

  3. If I can play devil’s advocate here, capitalizing on the venue is not at all uncommon or wrong. The sad fact is that ticket revenue from performances often won’t even cover the salary expenses for the musicians on stage, let alone the additional expenses of owning and maintaining a concert hall. Lockout or no, the facilities expenses will still be incurred. These additional revenue streams provide the income needed to cover these ongoing expenses. Simply put, if Minnesota didn’t rent out its facilities on dark nights, they would likely be financially worse off than they already are.

    • Mighty Vinyl says:

      You beat me to the punch, but yes, ignoring, for the moment, the particular dynamics of the MNO situation, this type of hire is fairly common within the industry. Income from facility rentals–for those cultural orgs that own/operate their own venues–often represents a big slice of the organizational budget.

    • Terry Carlson says:

      Which has always happened at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis; there have always been non-classical music events at the hall, not to mention conferences and other types of meetings.

      The difference now is that management has become obsessed with bottom-line accounting and, seeing dollar signs in their eyes, prefer to operate a rental hall only (it seems to many of us) and hire a pick-up band of classical musicians when they want one. No pensions, no medical benefits, no bothersome union rules to protect the players — and higher salaries for managers — the many, many managers. Grotesque in the extreme. They’ll just wander over to the temp agency and grab a few musicians — “now, play like the Minnesota Orchestra used to play!” Unlikely to happen.

    • Paul D. Sullivan, Boston US says:


      Absolutely correct. The management of any orchestra owning their own venue would be foolish not to rent out the space as much as possible. Heat, A/C, maintenance and wages run 365 days a year. BSO management has done a very good job of renting out Symphony Hall for extra income. From rock bands, lectures and stand up comedians to visiting orchestra and dance companies.

      BSO and Pops (especially) have had large cut backs in performance schedules these past few years, so an aggressive program of utilizing the space for additional income is a must.

    • Amy Adams says:

      Tyler, of course facility rental is important to revenue. The point is: Look at the extremely compartmentalized marketing staff, ever ballooning in the face of the locked-out musicians. WHAT IRONY.

    • You’re right, of course, Tyler. The only reason this is suspicious is that, a year or two ago, the Minnesota Orchestra board removed the word “orchestra” from the organization’s mission statement – and subsequently the board not only locked out the musicians, but appears to have planned to do so in advance.

  4. Ghillie Forrest says:

    Tyler is not wrong that halls are necessarily used to the maximum in order to support their core undertakings.

    But I have to say, this story reminds me of nothing more than the episode of Yes, Minister in which he is scandalised — to Sir Humphrey’s mystification — by a fully-staffed (administratively and technically) hospital that has no patients and no medical staff. “It’s one of the best-run hospitals in Britain!” exclaims Sir Humphrey. Looks as if Minnesota’s venue will soon be one of the most profitable concert halls in America.

    The zeal of the Minnesota administrators in this instance does seem rather distasteful, if that is possible in a milieu in which profit trumps all.

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