Musicians locked out, concerts cancelled at Minnesota Orchestra

Posted on: October 2, 2012

In Tuesday’s (10/2) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce writes, “For the first time in its 100-year history, the Minnesota Orchestra on Monday locked out musicians because of a contract dispute. At the same time, the first six weeks of the fall season, including the Oct. 18 season-opening concert, were canceled. ‘This is a very sad day for this organization,’ said bassist William Schrickel at a midday rally for musicians outside Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. ‘We have great respect for our musicians’ talents and today is a difficult day,’ said board chairman Jon Campbell. ‘Our organization, however, cannot keep performing on borrowed time.’ Management locked out musicians after their five-year contract expired at midnight. The union on Saturday voted unanimously to reject an offer that would cut $5 million in musician costs, including salary cuts that would lower the average annual salary to $89,000 from $135,000. Then, on Sunday, management swiftly said no to a proposal by musicians to submit the increasingly bitter dispute to independent arbitration, or to ‘talk and play’ while seeking agreement on a new contract. Richard Davis, who chairs the board’s negotiating team, said that concerts through Nov. 25 were canceled so that patrons and guest artists could make adjustments in their schedule. … Davis and several musicians said Monday they were willing to meet again, but no talks are scheduled.”

Photo by Greg Helgeson

Posted October 2, 2012