Minnesota Orchestra, one year later

Posted on: January 16, 2015

“Doug Wright will not soon forget the conflicted feelings he had a year ago today, when the Minnesota Orchestra and its musicians announced the end of an ugly 16-month contract dispute that silenced the hall,” reports Euan Kerr on Tuesday (1/13) at MPRnews.org, the website of Minnesota Public Radio. “Although the end of the lockout was celebrated by orchestra fans, the musicians took a 15 percent cut in pay and benefits. In return, they were guaranteed more involvement in artistic decision-making, and an increase in the number of pure classical concerts in the season. … ‘There were a lot of hanging questions about where this organization was headed,’ recalled Wright, a member of the musicians’ negotiating committee” and the orchestra’s principal trombone. “Orchestra Hall is a different place nowadays. Two words never heard during the lockout, ‘optimism’ and ‘collaboration,’ are now on everyone’s lips. Audiences are back, and the orchestra is playing well.” Music Director Osmo Vanska is “pleased by how things are going now. ‘I think that the level of the playing is there,’ he said.  … Vanska and the musicians both welcome the leadership of new President and CEO Kevin Smith, and Board Chair Gordy Sprenger, saying their collaborative style has smoothed the orchestra’s return.”

Posted January 16, 2015