Locked-out Minnesota Orchestra Musicians Plan a Ten-Date Season

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December 13, 2013; New York Times, “ArtsBeat”

NPQ has been covering the ongoing saga of the Minnesota Orchestral Association on the musicians who were locked out earlier this year. In our last newswire, we told you that some in Minneapolis were suggesting the musicians reorganize around the association and examine their options for accessing the resources now under the association’s control, including a hefty endowment topping $100 million.

The musicians have, in fact, applied for their own nonprofit status, and have now announced a full season of concerts that will include violinists Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell, as well as Osmo Vänskä, the Finnish conductor who resigned as the orchestra’s music director in October during the dispute. He will lead four of the musician’s concerts, including a program devoted to the Sibelius symphonies, his specialty.

The involvement of these high profile artists will clearly send a message about where the sympathies of the music world generally lie. It’s a particularly interesting turn of events in regard to Vänskä, who had previously gone to pains not to take a side.—Ruth McCambridge

 This article has been altered from its original form. The Minnesota musicians did not “go on strike,” as was initially reported. NPQ regrets the error.

  • Row 6

    Point of clarification: the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are NOT on strike, they were LOCKED OUT by the board and management of the Minnesota Orchestral Association. A strike is initiated by the workers, while a lockout is initiated by the employer.

  • Elizabeth Erickson

    Please—for the love of God and great music —The Minnesota Orchestra musicians DID NOT GO ON STRIKE!!! This lockout was orchestrated by the MOA (Minnesota Orchestral Association) years ago. Yes, Osmo tried very hard to remain diplomatic but there was never any doubt where his loyalties lie. This was and still is in my mind, his orchestra. One of the most absurd changes in the proposed contract that rarely gets mentioned, is stripping away artistic control from the music director. Can anyone imagine a music director of Osmo Vanska’s abilities, gladly turning over the audition process to a CEO? He was never neutral about this fiasco.