You must be registered to comment and vote on comments.
Both sides in orchestra dispute should heed music director.
Why not a base pay and profit sharing model? That would get the musicians more directly involved in improving the financial health of the organization. The audience base needs to be built up, and outreach by the musicians is probably the best way.
Well I think many observers of this dispute wish that some constructive negotiation could replace the apparent impasse, what is gained by having the musicians create a counter offer which they know is not feasible just to trigger discussion? Also in this very public dispute may this proposal you suggest not be used against them in the court of public opinion as demonstration that the union is out of touch with fiscal reality? so we are back to square one. I think a third party would be very valuable to bring the inflexible management and musicians together.
No one cares.
The final sentence of the Star Tribune editorial asks if the Twin Cities can support two superb classical orchestras. The question isn't "brave," as the editorial suggests. Rather, it's a devastating admission of what is emerging as the real bottom line in the Minneapolis and St. Paul musical disputes: that the half-century work to create two stunningly fine orchestras is on the verge of collapse through mismanagement by presidents and boards who value buildings more than music.
The President and board of the MN Orch moved forward with a $50 million building project (orig $90 million) without telling donors that the orchestra faced serious yearly budget problems. As late as last April, officials at the Chamber Orchestra, plus the MN Opera, and the Schubert Club were only postponing construction of a new 1100-seat space at the Ordway Center because they had only raised $50 million of the $75 million needed - funds raised without telling donors about yearly budget problems at the Chamber Orchestra.
What of the music and the men and women who make it? They're expected to take a 25-35% pay cut and the size of each orchestra is to be drastically reduced, turning both back into the "regional" orchestras they used to be.
Antal Dorati and Leopold Sipe must be weeping in their graves.
The management of the MN Orchestra has consistently turned its back upon the ordineary subscriber, modest contributors in favor of pursuing the "big money" of corporate donations and the largesse of well-to-do civic minded individuals. The result is that those who purchase tickets in good faith have been left out of the discussion and deceived by a manager and a board that gave out misleading information about the financial health of a great Minnesota institution. As a result, Minnesota's reputation as a community that appreciates and encourages the arts as a way of enhancing our way of life--which attracts people, particularly high achievers--to the city is now a wasting community asset. The board's refusal to even listen to the plea of the orchestra's music director and to the plea of the city's mayor raises suspicions that the real agenda of the management is to break the players' union and once done, find less expensive replacements. The argument that the players have not come up with an "acceptable" counter proposal rings hollow when, as the letter of Paula and Cy DeCossse, cited in your editorial, note they were willing to accept the judgment of the arbitor, which might have gone against them. The real losers in all of this are the people of Minnesota, and they have been largely left out of consideration by the Board, although the players at least are offering concerts--sold out--to the public in the face of our mutual lockouts, ordered by management.
Your comment is being reviewed for inclusion on the site.
Comments will be reviewed before being published.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.
425 Portland Av. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55488
© 2013 StarTribune. All rights reserved.
StarTribune.com is powered by Limelight Networks