One year after settlement, Minn. Orchestra is in a better place | MPR News
The Minnesota Orchestra Association's proposed contract included salary cuts Association to finally offer a reasonable contract and end the lockout. lunch meeting with some of the musicians – a huge breakthrough. Like many U.S. orchestras, the Minnesota Orchestra had increasingly been drawing on its endowment in order to make ends meet;. "The month lockout at the Minnesota Orchestra ended Tuesday after management and musicians announced an agreement," Minnesota.
Vanska has always said the three elements of success for an orchestra are great concerts, recording projects, and touring. With the announcement Monday of a resumption of the Minnesota Orchestra's Grammy-winning recordings of the Sibelius Symphonies, Vanska has two of the three.
And the third is on its way. Principal Cellist Tony Ross, who chairs the orchestra's artistic advisory committee, said he can't reveal details, but there are plans in the works for taking the band on the road.
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There has been one other fundamental change: Lee Henderson of Minneapolis, Minn. Jacobson said the group is now included in discussions on how to promote the orchestra and its work. However, she said the orchestra needs to be more transparent on its governance and decision making, and her group will keep pushing for that.
The Minnesota Orchestra lockout drew international attention. At a time when many orchestras are facing their own contract challenges, all are eager to avoid what happened in Minnesota.
For Vanska that's an important lesson to share. However, members of unions in other cities are still asking how the Minnesota Orchestra is doing, said Brad Eggan, president of the Twin Cities Musicians Union. He said the lockout was unprecedented, but also calls the outcome miraculous.
The audience began to applaud him. He grinned and shushed us. Not for me; for them! He sat down in the empty seat next to me and smiled.
Joyful, invincible energy radiated from his very pores. After intermission, as has become tradition, violist Sam Bergman stepped up to the edge of the stage.
By now the whole locked out audience knows what that means: Under their plan, the base salary of a Minnesota Orchestra musician would plummet, overnight, to a figure that, adjusted for inflation, equates to what our predecessors were making in It was as if someone had stabbed all two thousand audience members at once.
People actually began to weep in horror.
I closed my eyes, tight. In this context, Bruckner suddenly meant something. In this context, anything means something. You say you hate Bruckner? Well, then, how about for your first live Bruckner experience, I snag you a legendary Bruckner conductor, sprinkle dozens of friends onstage and in the audience, and top it all off with the orchestra The New Yorker has labeled the greatest in the world.
Oh, and also, by the way, said orchestra is facing imminent dismemberment, if not outright dissolution. It was a lot to swallow. He swayed gently to the sounds, nodded before each woodwind entry, breathed in and out with every phrase. Through his body language, he showed me what to listen for. Big swaths of sound that had once been a meaningless brick wall took on a shape and direction: He was moving with the music because he could no more stop the flow of music through him than I could stop breathing.
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I was just lucky enough to sit beside him to witness it. At the first solemn horn call of Bruckner 4, my horizons began to broaden, and the appeal of the music slowly dawned. Time and space simply — disappeared. At every repetition of every phrase, the musicians clawed at every note as if their very careers depended on it…and maybe they did.
The seats rumbled with each massive fanfare. The massive tower of flowers stood guard. The following is an edited transcript: Does the resumption of talks mean a settlement in either dispute is close? Not necessarily, although given that the two sides in the Minnesota Orchestra dispute have not met since the end of September, and the two sides in the SPCO dispute have not sat down since Nov.
The SPCO musicians have said they have been working on what they have been calling a presentation for when they meet with management.
There are apparently ideas to cut expenses at the Orchestra. We don't know what the two sides in the Minnesota Orchestra talks have planned. I have to say that more than once I have heard people on all sides express genuine confusion over why the other side is doing what it is doing, so perhaps this may be an opportunity to find common ground on which they can talk.
Also everyone has apparently agreed to a media blackout surrounding the talks in an effort to move the process forward. A lot of the focus in the dispute has been about money: Is that still the main issue? Clearly it's a major issue. Managements say they need to reshape the Orchestras finances if they are to survive, and they need to do it now to avoid the situation getting worse.
However the musicians, particularly at the SPCO, are arguing that they are fighting to preserve the artistic integrity of their organizations.