Minnesota Orchestra Musicians Reject Latest Proposal as Deadline Nears

Carnegie Hall Concerts May be Cancelled

Sunday, September 29, 2013 - 06:00 PM

Minnesota Orchestra Minnesota Orchestra (Greg Helgeson)

The musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra on Saturday unanimously rejected the latest management contract offer, leaving unchanged a lockout that has effectively shuttered the ensemble for nearly a year.

The management offer, which asked for nearly 18 percent salary cuts over three years as well as a $20,000 signing bonus, was deemed artistically unsustainable by the players.

"This regressive model does not fit this community," Doug Wright, a member of the musicians' negotiating committee told Minnesota Public Radio. "Therefore we cannot support it and the community does not support it."

The Board negotiators, in a statement, said they were “very disappointed” in the 60-0 vote by the musicians.

The two sides face a deadline to reach a deal by Monday or two early November concerts at Carnegie Hall will be cancelled. Music director Osmo Vanska has said he would resign if the Carnegie concerts were called off. There have also been vague hints that the orchestra may go ahead and perform those concerts without management involvement, as unlikely as that may seem.

The lockout began on Oct. 1, 2012. Former senator George Mitchell was hired in July as a mediator to try and broker an agreement. The two sides said they would continue to negotiate through the weekend.

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Comments [2]

Les from Miami, Florida

Musicians and board members, consider the state of your artistic colleagues at the New York City Opera. On behalf of your audience and your own well-being, please don't throw it all away. If you can find time, look at the Youth Orchestra of the United States's concert at the BBC Proms available on the Internet. You were once they. I'm not connected to them in any way, but I'm moved to tears of joy every time I watch it. Please don't snuff out their dreams.

Sep. 30 2013 10:25 AM
David from Flushing

I cannot imagine being on the board of such a troubled institution could be much fun. At some point, the members perhaps should just throw up their hands and let the musicians run the orchestra and see what becomes of it.

Sep. 30 2013 08:56 AM

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