Minnesota Orchestra musicians perform Dvořák and Shostakovich, amid contract dispute

Posted on: October 22, 2012

“Locked out since Oct. 1 in a contract dispute with management, the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra emerged from limbo Thursday to offer a triumphant, self-organized, sold-out concert at the same hour, and in the same venue, as their previously scheduled season opener,” writes Larry Fuchsberg in Friday’s (10/19) Minneapolis Star Tribune. “It was a momentous evening, combining music by Dvořák and Shostakovich with a brisk trade in pro-musician lawn signs. Leading the orchestra was the astonishing 89-year-old Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, its music director from 1960 to 1979…. Such [contract] battles are nothing new for Skrowaczewski, who, during his tenure as music director, had his own contretemps with board and management. Thursday’s performances, greeted with repeated standing ovations, had an urgency that can’t be counterfeited. Tony Ross, one of the orchestra’s spokesmen in the labor dispute, was the soloist in a loving, superbly lyrical account of Dvořák’s elegiac Cello Concerto, capturing every tremor of its drama, its songfulness, its grief…. On Thursday, in the symphony’s ferocious final movement [of Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony], Skrowaczewski appeared to struggle with exhaustion. But his beat never faltered, and the performance was riveting despite the somewhat indifferent acoustics of the Minneapolis Convention Center’s Auditorium.”

Posted October 22, 2012