At Minnesota Orchestra, fundraising effort underway as talks continue

Posted on: September 25, 2013

In Tuesday’s (9/24) Star Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce reports, “With a weekend deadline fast approaching, the sides in the Minnesota Orchestra dispute are talking intensely and confidentially.… Meanwhile, sources say private efforts are underway to raise money that might help bring a contract settlement before Sept. 30. That is when Music Director Osmo Vänskä has said he needs the musicians rehearsing in order to prepare for Carnegie Hall concerts in early November.… The orchestra’s board issued a statement Tuesday saying an offer given on Sept. 14 had expired Monday without a response from musicians. A spokesman for the musicians would say only that both sides are still talking through mediator George Mitchell, a former U.S. Senate majority leader.” The current fundraising effort “is tied directly to the contract negotiations. It is unclear how the money might be used—to provide signing bonuses to musicians or to alleviate the Minnesota Orchestral Association’s financial pressure. No one will say how much money has been pledged. State funding would be trickier, as one state official said, because favoring one organization over another could be perceived as unfair.… John Stiles, a spokesman for Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, said no one has raised the issue of using city funds for the orchestra.” 

Posted September 25, 2013