Amid lockouts, Twin Cities orchestras report deficits

Posted on: December 5, 2012

Wednesday (12/5) on the Minnesota Public Radio website, Euan Kerr reports, “With Minnesota Orchestra musicians locked out for two months and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra players locked out for six weeks, both organizations are announcing budget deficits at their annual meetings this week. At its meeting Tuesday, the SPCO board announced a deficit of $895,080 for the 2011-2012 season. The amount was not unexpected as management last year had projected a shortfall of up to a $1 million. The deficit has been a major element in the ongoing contract dispute with SPCO musicians which led to the lockout on Oct. 21. Interim SPCO President Dobson West said the audited figure just confirms the need to create a new financial model for the orchestra, which includes reducing musicians’ salaries. … The musicians say management’s contract proposal, which would cut the guaranteed salary of current musicians to $62,500 a year and new musicians to $50,000, is not respectful and will lead to the demise of the orchestra. … The Minnesota Orchestra Board meets Thursday in Minneapolis and it is already known that it will announce a deficit of about $6 million. Here, there are also no negotiations scheduled between players and management. Management said it is awaiting a counterproposal from musicians. Musicians say they cannot do that until there is an independent financial analysis of the orchestra’s finances. The board will release its audit at its meeting.”

Posted December 5, 2012