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Just in: Minnesota cancels summer

The orchestra that has locked out its musicians for the past ten months has just posted the following false statement:




LAST UPDATED July 10, 2013 1:20PM

We regret to inform you that the Minnesota Orchestra’s summer concerts at Ted Mann Concert Hall have been cancelled because we have not reached a contract settlement with our musicians. The following concerts have been cancelled:

  • Rachmaninoff: Piano Concerto No. 3 JUL 20 8PM | JUL 21 2PM
  • Dvořák’s New World Symphony JUL 26 8PM | JUL 27 8PM
  • Prokofiev and Stravinsky AUG 2 8PM | AUG 3 8PM      
  • Er, not quite. Lots of orchs carry on playing after a contract expires in the expectation that a new one will be agreed. Minnesota can’t and won’t because it has locked out its musicians. Simple as that.
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  1. Christina Arden says:

    Disgusting. Liars.

  2. I know, I know, everyone would prefer the management say “We regret that our summer concerts have been canceled because we, the management, are horrible people with no concern about the success of the organization we work for and a deep-seated hatred of our colleagues in the orchestra. We are actively working to destroy the field of symphonic music, a field which we know nothing about and are unqualified to work in.” Unfortunately, that is rather unlikely, and in the absence of that statement I am not sure what would satisfy the partisans. I think the statement they released is about as straightforward as it could realistically be.

    • Steve Foster says:

      You can’t honestly believe they want to destroy the one thing that keeps them in business.

      • I was being ironic and mimicking the rhetoric that has been flying around in this controversy.

    • Amy Adams says:

      Management is absolutely as “partisan” as the musicians, Tomas2.
      What would satisfy the musicians, I believe, is the ending of the lockout and the beginning of talks.
      (Unfortunately, that is rather unlikely, and in the absence of that action I am not sure what would satisfy the partisans in management.)

      • Well if the musicians had presented a counter-offer in the first place rather than accusing management of negotiating in bad faith and then walking away from the table, who knows where things might be today. Nobody comes out of this looking good, including the people who spend a lot of energy and spill a lot of ink smearing one side or the other.

        • It does seem ironic that the players who willingly signed themselves on as, in effect, pampered servants of the MOA, then turned and revolted when times got tough, rather than first saying to themselves, ‘wait a moment, would a revolt amount to cutting our own throats’?

  3. PK Miller says:

    It IS appalling. Cant someone put the 2 bargaining committees in a locked room–a la the Cardinals electing a Pope–no outside influences–no cellphones, smart or stupid, no TV, internet… Serve the blandest food imaginable & tell them you’re not coming out till you have hammered out a contract, fair to EVERYONE. Why has this gone on so long? Lots of blame on both sides I would expect. Just like spoiled children….

    • robcat2075 says:

      Being over-fed or otherwise distracted is probably not the problem preventing an agreement.

    • I would add to robcat’s remark that being deprived of health insurance and income tends to focus the mind wonderfully. The musicians should be commended for demanding to know what exactly is going on with finances before they agree to 30%+ salary cuts and fundamental changes in their workplace. Instead you are calling them “spoiled children?”

    • Nope. When one side (mgmt) says that they can talk all they want but they are not budging from their extreme first offer (which basically threw years of carefully-crafted artistic and other agreements out the window), then this false dichotomy of “both sides” is a pile of you-know-what. And what about the audience, hmmm? Totally ignored by mgmt.

    • It seems now that in the old days the MO players were a bit more flexible with management. The current group of players has tended to repeatedly misstate Alex Ross’ statement about a MO concert at CH where ‘for that one night’ they played like the best orchestra in the world, and turned it into ‘they are always the best orchestra in the world’. Even Mr. Ross corrected that misconception.

      There seems to be a kind of rigidity to their mindset, and, with the greatest of respect for all of the players, having any sort of a chip on one’s shoulder tends to lead one to a dead end. It is almost as though they are being led astray by a false piper.

  4. What took them so long? Of course, they didn’t want people to cash out their tickets before fiscal yearend (6/30/13) so they had to have some place for them to roll them over into (albeit in one-price, general seating which never happens).

  5. Wing-chi Chan says:

    Please ask the Orchestra’s CEO and his management team release the raise of their wages over the past five years and the sequence of the musicians’ paid scale of the same period. While the offer, under new contract, requests to cut a substantial portion for musicians, what happens to the CEO’s pay?

  6. itrinkkeinwein says:

    What’s the latest on Osmo? Wasn’t he due to quit?

    • Per his latest letter, It seems OM is willing to wait until September for the lockout to end, as long as it gives him enough time to get everyone in gear for the CH performances in November. But if CH were to cancel the MO performances, that would be it for him.

  7. itrinkkeinwein says:

    They have returned to the state some $900,000 of grant money for the season. Is this the extent of their obligation? They are an “association” formed with approval — state or federal or both — to do something, to meet goals such as serving the people of Minnesota. Can this approval not be withdrawn? Can the Minnesota Orchestral Association and its board and management not be dissolved by the state for dereliction, its assets and leases and claims on the hall, etc., taken over by the state and shifted to better hands? Where are the politicians on this, the state secretaries for culture? Why is the audience so passive?

  8. tom logeland says:

    Richard Davis, one of the chief architects of the lockout, is now running for the board of the Mpls Institute of the Arts-another premier arts organization of MSP. Perhaps he feels his work of destruction is nearly over and is looking for new toys to destroy

    • . . . . And then he can start selling off the collection, as is being threatened in Detroit. Nothing like selling our cultural patrimony to the highest bidder.

    • John Huss is also on the Elective Board (at least 2012-2013) – he was one of the behind the scenes guys on the SPCO Board.

  9. Petros Linardos says:

    Is there any public information about compensations for Minnesota Orchestra management since the lock out?

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