Minnesota Orchestra calls off another weekend of concerts

  • Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 14, 2013 - 9:10 PM

The cancellations affect mid-February performances. Other shows in late February, early March stand for now.

The Minnesota Orchestra has canceled one more weekend of concerts, Feb. 14-15, and pushed another event into the 2013-14 season.

Management and union musicians have been unable to reach agreement on a collective bargaining agreement, and the orchestra has not performed since last summer. Musicians were locked out Oct. 1 after rejecting a contract proposal.

If there is a silver lining in Monday's announcement, it is that the cancellations did not extend through the entire month of February. Bargainers for both sides met on Jan. 2 and have agreed to attempt a "fresh start" in the negotiations.

It is still too early to know whether these new talks will result in an agreement, but the orchestra has let stand for now performances of Beethoven's Eroica (No. 3) Symphony scheduled for Feb. 27-28 and March 1-2. Music director Osmo Vänskä is scheduled to conduct that program, which includes pianist Jonathan Biss performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 13.

Canceled are the Feb. 14-15 performances of Elgar's Cello Concerto with soloist Alban Gerhardt and guest conductor Hannu Lintu. A Feb. 16 pops performance of the film "Casablanca" with the orchestra performing the score will be pushed into next year.

A special presentation by Kodo -- a Taiko drum ensemble from Japan -- will take place on Feb. 17 as scheduled. The orchestra was not scheduled to perform in that concert, which will be presented by Sue McLean & Associates instead of the Minnesota Orchestra. Tickets will be honored.

All other ticketholders will be contacted regarding their options.

In the meantime, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and orchestra patron Judy Dayton are presenting a concert Feb. 1 to celebrate the orchestra's nomination for a Grammy award. Vänskä will conduct the musicians in Sibelius Symphonies No. 2 and 5. The orchestra's recording of those works has been nominated for Best Orchestral Performance and the winner will be announced at the Grammys ceremony on Feb. 10.

Tickets for the Grammy Celebration Concert went on sale at noon Monday at www.ticketworks.com or 612-343-3390. Tickets are $20, $40 and $60.

Graydon Royce • 612-673-7299

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