Review: Music in midst of contract dispute

  • Article by: LARRY FUCHSBERG , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 19, 2012 - 12:50 PM

Locked-out orchestra musicians took their appeal to a sold-out hall.

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akadamsOct. 19, 12 4:12 PM

Management: Solve this problem and end the lockout!

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mamajammaOct. 20, 1212:26 PM

Amen. In a bad hall, the acoustics make it so much harder for members to hear each other but they triumphed because listen to each other. The concerto was so moving and original as to be miraculous because of this fact. Being in the audience was an experience I will never forget. So many people who had never attended a concert before but they got to hear Shostakovich's 5th in the most original and exultant interpretation anyone has ever heard anywhere. I will never forget it.

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musicmommyOct. 20, 1212:57 PM

So the management thinks they can have a world-class orchestra without the musicians? I think we're lucky that more of them haven't flown the coop. Let's see, let's accept the pay cut IF.... the management starts paying and reimbursing for the musicians' instruments (sometimes over $1 million apiece, which is difficult on their salary), all instrument repairs, their tuxes and black dress attire, and then backpays them for the tens of thousands of dollars' worth of music lessons and practice that most of them started between ages 4 and 10? Even now, most of the musicians' work is not done during rehearsal time, but is done during their individual practice sessions where they hone their skills. More than any of us, these musicians have invested money in their careers that can never be recouped. They are worth much more than they are paid right now, but they went into their careers knowing that. But having a pay cut while facilities are renovated is downright insulting. If the orchestra's management had been honest when shilling for dollars for the renovation, and had said that they would be left so broke that they'd be cutting musicians' salaries and locking them out, no one would have paid them a dime.

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Gerald1399Oct. 20, 12 1:30 PM

Sorry, I am with Management on this one. Professionals do not belong to a blue collar union. Fund your own retirements; pay for your own instruments; repair your own instruments; plus pay for your own tuxes and cleaning of them. If you don't like the organization you work for, THEN move and find one that you do like.

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musicmommyOct. 20, 12 3:16 PM

Gerald, you are okay with kissing the Minnesota Orchestra goodbye. I am not. I was just pointing out that their current salaries are basically a gift to our community, because these musicians are paying off more loans and education than a medical doctor does. And the rug's being pulled out from under them. I hope you are secure enough in your own employment that when you lose 40% of your pay, you can just look your boss in the eye and say, "Thank you sir, may I have another?" But don't expect the rest of us to grovel like that.

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jimh123456Oct. 20, 12 3:54 PM

This concert was fabulous. Period. Management: until now we've had a first-rate orchestra in a second-rate hall, and it's been great. A second-rate orchestra in a first-rate hall would be a bad plan even if it worked - and it won't work. It's just going to gut the support entirely. And if you really think a new lobby will boost attendance and contributions - why not give it a chance?

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akadamsOct. 24, 12 5:36 PM

Gerald, musicians and other professionals belong to unions because they are employees who have the same problems as other workers. Everyone needs a chance to do her or his job well: sane hours, a manageable workload, a decent wage, the guarantee of fair benefits, protection from unjust treatment, respect, and recognition of skills, education, and expertise. Musicians deserve the above.

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