Locked-out SPCO violinist quits for New York Philharmonic

  • Article by: Kristin Tillotson , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 21, 2013 - 10:22 AM

Kyu-Young Kim, principal second violinist for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, is the first musician to leave amid a labor dispute.

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toomuchgovFeb. 20, 1310:11 PM

OK, he got a better offer and he took it. That is what is known as the free market - and it is working. Best of luck in NY - it is a great city (with really odd leadership)

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keborgenFeb. 20, 1310:21 PM

Unfortunately, we will be reading about more departures in the coming months and years. As Kim indicates, players won't think twice now about leaving the Twin Cities for greener pastures. Our two world-class orchestras will likely emerge from these lockouts as mid-level feeder orchestras.

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DufferHFeb. 20, 1310:48 PM

Good for Kim. It's a big jump from SPCO to the NY Philharmonic, lockout or no lockout. Just because the two local orchestras have performed overseas doesn't make them world class.

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mikehessFeb. 20, 1310:53 PM

Didn't MO loose their acting first associate concertmaster, Peter McGuire earlier in the lockout? This would be at least the second departure, third if you count Gary Bordner who left because of the strife leading ultimately to the lockouts.

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bej1bej1Feb. 20, 1311:07 PM

This is an example of what we can expect if management refuses to pay the musicians a fair and competitive salary. My advice: Pay the musicians and charge the patrons. Surely those in the Twin Cities who love great musical performances will be willing to pay more to hear good well performed great music.

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benedict636Feb. 21, 13 1:25 AM

The problem is that ticket prices for the Minnesota Orchestra are at the top end of what the market will bear. SPCO ticket prices can and should move upward. The real problem is that the economic model is essentially an eighteenth century continental European model, with the boards and a now shrinking cadre of wealthy donors in the stead of the benefactors from the nobility of old. Things were different in eighteenth century England were composers had to be entrepreneurs Handel left a fortune at his death, but came close to bankruptcy twice. I think we need to get back to a model that George Frederick Handel would have been familiar with and thrived in. That means embracing and harnessing new electronic technology. The musicians union going off whining to the Labor relations board over a bunch of low audio quality free music streams is totally the wrong path. They need to understand they have to use the power of modern technology to maintain and increase their incomes, by harnessing social media and producing a product people want to pay for. If our orchestras are to survive there has to be a totally new economic model. The old model is as good as dead, whether the American Federation of musicians wants to acknowledge the facts or not.

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threed61Feb. 21, 13 8:53 AM

In the last 30 years, the worlds education system has produced tons of very talented musicians, far more than the market can bear. There aren't a lot of openings at any salary. If all these folks quit right now, the management could have excellent replacements in no time, which is why so few of the musicians are even trying to leave.

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rlwr51Feb. 21, 1310:22 AM

How are those "non-profit" executives going to collect those big buck salaries off a mediocre orchestra?

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yargadFeb. 21, 1310:43 AM

> SPCO spokeswoman Jessica Etten said that management congratulates Kim on his new position, and is "sad to lose his great artistry and leadership.” The mark of a professional spokeswoman is that she said that with a straight face. SPCO management is already counting the savings from this and many more departures, and they are sad they have to pay musicians anything at all as it interferes with their attempt to turn a local musical treasure into a profit center. Concertgoers are sad they soon no longer will be able to see a first-rate live orchestral performance and drive home the same evening.

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robotczarFeb. 21, 1310:52 AM

Kim's "better offer" was a paying job. Let's face it, the current board has failed and they want the musicians (the people who are the product) to pay for that failure. What the "free market" will do is lead to no SPCO at all. How's is that a good thing? Isn't the market supposed to serve us?

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