Minnesota Orchestra, SPCO look to maintain artistic integrity under financial strain

Posted on: September 10, 2012

In Sunday’s (9/9) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce writes, “When Osmo Vänskä arrived as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra, he told players he wanted them to be the top U.S. orchestra and one of the best in the world. Doug Wright, principal trombone, recalled the meeting last week as he reflected on a contract proposal from orchestra management that would cut average musician salaries by 34 percent. ‘You’ve seen the press from all over the world,’ Wright said last week. ‘We’ve achieved a level of notoriety and skill that’s made us world-renowned. And now we feel we’re being penalized for achieving worldwide recognition.’ … While Wright and other musicians are confused and angry, management has said that desperate times require desperate measures. … ‘We’re threading the needle,’ said Richard Davis, the former board chairman who heads the management negotiating team. ‘This is going to be very challenging, to find a way to protect the artistic integrity of this world-class orchestra and not lose the players that have made it that way.’ Musicians at the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, who will receive a second management offer this week, are similarly caught in the vise. An earlier proposal would have cut salaries by nearly 70 percent.”

Posted September 10, 2012