It will be six months on Monday since Michael Henson’s administration locked the musicians out of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Henson was demanding wage cuts in the order of $40,000 a player. The musicians argued this was unjustified at a time the organisation was spending $50 million on a new lobby. The two sides have hardly talked in half a year. Henson has been accused in the state legislature of ‘destroying the arts’. A handful of players have found better jobs in other orchestras.
None of America’s top ten orchestras has been involved in so protracted and intransigent a dispute within living memory (though smaller Louisville locked out its musicians for a year, readmitting them last May). There is no sign of any thaw in Minnesota’s winter of discontent. Graydon Royce, who has covered the dispute with admirable thoroughness, has just filed a half-year article. Read, and weep.