Minnesota Orchestra meets on a down note

  • Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 6, 2012 - 8:55 AM

Outlook is dismal on many fronts for board's annual meeting.

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fwallenDec. 5, 12 9:14 PM

One sad reality is that the time is here where many of the best players are being recruited by other orchestras, and others are looking. So if a deal isn't sealed soon, it won't matter because trying to put it back together as it was will be impossible in the near term. It's time for a closed door session with an experienced mediator/ strategic thinker who will help both parties find a strategic plan that can provide enough revenue to meet the ongoing costs for a first class orchestra.

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isbjornmydogDec. 5, 12 9:58 PM

So this is sad. Question, if the orchestra was union, and the building is under construction do the contractors even work if they are union? I miss the orchestra dearly! I could care less about the building rehab and I hate the management!

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turgidDec. 5, 1210:38 PM

This is a mid-size market and should not be trying to keep pace with Chicago or Washington salaries. And everyone knows Cleveland has to pay their players more, because the players have to LIVE IN CLEVELAND. If the players' improved talents have demonstrably resulted in additional revenue for the orchestra (nice notices at the Proms do not pay the bills), then it seems they would have an argument for a pay increase. If not, then the orchestra must hold the line, the endowment notwithstanding.

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jlestribDec. 5, 1210:40 PM

OK, so big donors just like to fund buildings, not operating costs. Great, but too bad, really. If MNO had told capital donors that 2-3% of their donations would have to go to operating costs in order to help MNO through difficult times, surely they would have donated anyway. And there would be no budget deficit. The board and management have to learn how to run the place, plain and simple, or else step down and out of the way!

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blacklake1Dec. 5, 1210:41 PM

How many of the musicians have other jobs. I know some play in the Duluth-Superior Symphony. I had a friend that played horn in the Minnesota Symphony. that was a stock broker.

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anewmanDec. 5, 1210:54 PM

I once witnessed a head usher haughtily refuse admission at a performance to a cute young couple who had obtained free tickets and politely asked to enter the hall after intermission. The head usher would not allow them to be even discreetly placed in empty seats in the back of the hall as was frequently done for others. That's a couple of young people who were sent away with the message that classical music is for stuck-up, uptight people, and I'll doubt they'll even try to go to a classical concert again. While there's a reason for classical concert etiquette, that's not the way to teach it if you want to build future audiences. It's all a shame because I've had the pleasure to witness the magic that the Minnesota Orchestra is capable of producing on many occasions. I'm not sure that the current management is equally capable of building audiences to experience it.

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DufferHDec. 5, 1211:44 PM

None of this really means anything. The size of the orchestra's endowment is no way related to the size of another group's endowment. There are far too many variables for this to have any meaning. The local musicians are playing for the Minnesota Orchestra, not the Chicago Symphony.

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tooty123Dec. 6, 12 2:43 AM

And the orchestra gets a Grammy nomination but has to take deductions because management hasn't done its job. Pathetic.

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jcinmnDec. 6, 12 3:32 AM

turgid "... If the players' improved talents have demonstrably resulted in additional revenue for the orchestra (nice notices at the Proms do not pay the bills), then it seems they would have an argument for a pay increase. If not, then the orchestra must hold the line, the endowment notwithstanding." DOES THIS MEET YOUR QUALIFICATIONS? "... the Minnesota Orchestra, hailed in recent years as one of the world's top orchestras, are nominated for best orchestral performance, for "Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5." Vanska and the orchestra were nominated in the same category in 2008 for a recording of Beethoven's ninth symphony." THEY PUT IN THE HARD WORK! THEY ROSE TO THE TOP, NOT JUST THE TOP IN THE COUNTRY BUT ONE OF THE TOP ORCHESTRAS IN THE WORLD AND ARE NOW REWARDED WITH A 35% PAY CUT? IT IS UP TO THE WEALTHY IN THIS AREA TO PONY UP AND MAKE THIS RIGHT!!!! THEY SAID "GO AHEAD" TO THE MANAGEMENT ON THE BUILDING PROJECT NOW IT'S UP TO THEM TO SAY "JOB WELL DONE" TO THE MUSICIANS AND MAINTAIN THE QUALITY THAT TOOK SO LONG TO ACHIEVE.

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kpkooikerDec. 6, 12 6:46 AM

"How many of the musicians have other jobs." Some of the musicians teach part-time. None of them hold other jobs with major time committments; playing at the level they do requires a full-time committment. This is like asking how many of the Twins or Vikings have "other jobs." These musicians are professionals at the top level of their craft, playing for an orchestra that has long been considered a "destination" job, where they hope to finish their careers. The Duluth Symphony musicians are professionals in the sense that they are paid to play, but they are paid $3500-4000/year by the Symphony. Obviously, they all have to have "real" jobs, which is why the Duluth Symphony doesn't sound like the Minnesota Orchestra.

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