Minnesota Orchestra works toward sustainability

Posted on: February 26, 2016

“After succumbing to a nearly devastating lockout [that] … lasted 16 months before ending in January 2014, the Minnesota Orchestra has staged a recovery,” writes David Allen in Thursday’s (2/24) New York Times. “In May, it beat more prominent orchestras to be the first American ensemble to visit Cuba since the thaw in relations with that country. And on Thursday, March 3, the Minnesotans, along with a considerable contingent of traveling fans, will return to Carnegie Hall.… Even though the musicians signed their most recent contract early, committing to it until 2020, musicians’ wages will still be lower than they were in 2012.… Subscriptions are growing but remain 12 percent below 2011-12.… Nevertheless … the budget was balanced in the 2014-15 season. Ticket sales have held steady at 83 percent of capacity for two years running.… Last year, [Music Director Osmo] Vanska … signed a contract through 2019.… Musicians have been placed at the organization’s core.… They sit on governing committees that also include board members and staff.… [President and CEO Kevin] Smith faces a similar struggle to that before the lockout. He sees a persistent $5 million gap between income and outlays, now covered by individual gifts.” Said Smith, “We’re dealing with it on the revenue side rather than on the expense side.”

Posted February 26, 2016