Minn. Orchestra makes a stand

  • Article by: JON R. CAMPBELL and RICHARD K. DAVIS
  • Updated: November 29, 2012 - 2:28 PM

Even in the arts, we can spend only what we earn.

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kingtutskyOct. 10, 12 6:38 PM

Federal and State government should not be supporting the arts. If a local government wants to do so, that's fine. They are immediately accountable to their constituency. The Minnesota Orchestra needs to figure out how to market it's product just like any free-market business.

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dorianmodeOct. 10, 12 7:06 PM

The arts are as much, if not more a part of the quality of life of a community than sports. If the government can spend millions or half a billion dolloars on privately owned sports team's capital needs, and 2 ball parks in one year, they can support the arts. This community is going to loose a world class orchestra. 1. Replace the board with people who can actually DO something to increase community broad based support, and not just sit as silent fancy bumps on a log, AND 2. Have the new board make the state aware of just how valuable the resource is, they are about to loose. Raise the money board. Use your connections. What do you think you're there for ? To look pretty ?

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mred58Oct. 10, 12 7:17 PM

i don not support kingtutsky .the government supports the twins and hockey, basketball,and dont for get football.they have nothing but money no matter what,and if you want it they will do what ever it takes to give it to you.

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erikj3Oct. 10, 12 7:42 PM

When you spend $50 million on a LOBBY and then expect your employees to take a 40-50% paycut, you're like a kid who kills his parents and then begs for mercy because he's an orphan. You have a world class orchestra, but that's dependent on world class musicians!

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totaltruthOct. 10, 12 8:14 PM

dorianmode - ""Raise the money board. Use your connections. What do you think you're there for ?""

Actually it should be the musicians who raise the money through their actions and their talents.... It is painfully obvious that their current talents (and what people will pay to see those talents) is substantially short of the amounts they are currently being paid....

This problem will continue until they are paid what the market thinks they are worth (Not what they think they are worth).

Thank you BOARD for effectively and honestly dealing with this issue.

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allinpspctveOct. 10, 12 8:51 PM

totaltruth - "This problem will continue until they are paid what the market thinks they are worth (Not what they think they are worth)" Free market economics doesn't easily translate to the realm of non-profit arts and the 3-tiered funding model of symphony orchestras. It's not simply what the "market" thinks they're worth, because the market could never actually support the actions and talents of these musicians on its own. For an orchestra, its "sustainability" has every bit to do with what the board believes it can support and how well the organization promotes itself to garner support from the community. This board believes it can only support an organization of the same budget level as orchestras in St. Louis, Nashville, Detroit, and Baltimore. Last I checked, the Twin CIties is doing better economically than all those places, and has a more vibrant arts scene, so this cry of poverty is a bit odd, especially with a huge financial investment in a building. Fine, on one hand you can only pay for what you can afford. On the other hand, you'll get what you pay for too. The Minnesota Orchestra is really something special, and it is very much the collective efforts of these musicians and their predecessors who have made it that way. It's more than a bit arrogant for the board to claim credit for all that. Change the product too much through staff attrition, and you'll continue to bleed, even after "restructuring."

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dorianmodeOct. 10, 12 8:58 PM

totaltruth The job of the musicians is to make music. The job of the board is to raise money and manage operations, and do effective advertising. Do actors raise money ? The job of the musicians is not to create demand, They do their jobs very well. The board has failed miserably, even while WASTING millions on unnecessary new building projects. They all need to go.

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dorianmodeOct. 10, 12 9:02 PM

total truth By that logic, it was job of the Vikings players to raise the money for the new stadium.

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totaltruthOct. 10, 12 9:11 PM

I also fault the Board... But for a different reason... They should have addressed this issue of overpaid musicians several years ago instead of waiting until it is almost too late.

I have heard over 35 different orchestras from around the world in my 60 years.... And honestly do not think there is a big difference between the so-called 2nd tier orchestras and the so-called first tier orchestras. Sure their are some nuances that a first tier orchestra has... But 95%+ of your audience would not hear the difference between a first and 2nd tier.

The market here will support a second tier orchestra... Maybe it is time...

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dorianmodeOct. 10, 12 9:23 PM

maybe it was time for a 2nd rate football team

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