Minnesota Orchestra holds fund-raiser as musician lockout continues

Posted on: September 20, 2013

In Thursday’s New York Times (9/19), James R. Oestreich writes, “On Friday evening, the Minnesota Orchestra will hold a fund-raising ball in Orchestra Hall, which is just reopening after renovations costing some $50 million. Besides acoustical improvements intended to help musicians hear one another better onstage and expanded facilities for the players backstage, the face-lift includes a large and attractive new lobby that the orchestra and renters of the hall will be able to use to entertain patrons. From an upper level on Friday, wealthy donors will look out at the skyline through an array of floor-to-ceiling windows. And at street level, they will look out at a demonstration … a rally by supporters of the orchestra’s players, who have been locked out of their jobs for almost a year … The lockout, which began last Oct. 1 and wiped out an entire season of concerts, now jeopardizes the start of another, which is to include four concerts of Sibelius at Carnegie Hall conducted by Osmo Vanska, the orchestra’s music director. … Is this a time for a gala celebration, fund-raiser or not? ‘The ball raises $1 million,’ said Michael Henson, the orchestra’s president and chief executive. ‘If we canceled it, we’d be $1 million worse off.’ ”

Posted September 20, 2013