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With the Minnesota Orchestral Association's annual meeting set for Dec. 11, the locked-out musicians are getting out their version of the past year a couple of days earlier. The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra will hold a public meeting next Monday, Dec. 9, at the downtown Hilton, which sits across from Orchestra Hall.
The Musicians say they will unveil a new mission statement "that they will work to fulfill in the years going forward, with or without the Minnesota Orchestral Association."
The Musicians have formed a nonprofit organization that has raised more than $300,000 since August.
The meeting Monday will be at 10:30 in the Duluth Room of the Hilton, at 1001 Marquette Av. S., Mpls.
The New York Times has reported that Erin Keefe, concertmaster at the Minnesota Orchestra, is being considered for the same post with the New York Philharmonic. According to the Times, Keefe will play with the orchestra on Friday and Saturday nights, with music director Alan Gilbert conducting Mozart.
Keefe came to the Minnesota job in September, 2011, to replace Jorja Fleezanis. The orchestra has been locked out since October, 2012, and Keefe has frequently been rumored to be in demand for other positions. She previously played with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society in New York.
The Times story is here.
Composer Conrad Susa, whose work was brought to life on several occasions in the Twin Cities, has died in San Francisco. Susa, who was 78, was a professor of composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
Susa's best known opera is "Transformations," which had its premiere with the Minnesota Opera in 1973. Based on 10 poems from a book by Anne Sexton, the work was conducted by Philip Brunelle and directed by Wesley Balk. The poems re-imagined Grimm's fairy tales. Susa wrote the opera as a chamber piece. It has been frequently produced around the country.
"I have fond memories of conducting the premiere, and all the wildness that went along with his last-minute writing and having Anne Sexton here -- but it was magical," Brunelle wrote in an e-mail.
Susa also wrote pieces for VocalEssence and Plymouth Church, and another opera, "Black River: A Wisconsin Idyll," which was commissioned by Minnesota Opera for a 1975 debut. The libretto by Richard Street was inspired by the book "Wisconsin Death Trip."
"I will always remember the first time he came to Minneapolis and stayed with us, having morning pillow fights wiith the kids," Brunelle wrote. "Conrad was brilliant, humorous and irascible."
With the San Francisco Opera, Susa wrote "The Dangerous Liaisons," which had its premiere in 1994 with a cast that included Thomas Hampson and Renee Fleming.
Osmo Vanska/ New York Times photo by Jenn Ackerman
The renovated Northrop Auditorium will reopen in April with the American Ballet Theatre doing “Giselle” and Osmo Vanska, in May, conducting the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra.
The University of Minnesota announced a series of reopening events on Thursday afternoon. ABT will perform April 4-6 with a live orchestra, which is rare for dance performances outside of New York City.
On May 2, Vanska will recreate the first concert at Northrop played by the Minneapolis Symphony. The 4,800-seat auditorium was built for the symphony (now the Minnesota Orchestra) 85 years ago.
Among the other reopening activities at the now 2,700-seat Northrop will be a live broadcast of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” on April 26, a talk by novelist David Mitchell on April 9 and a lecture by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on April 17.
The remodeled Northrop also will feature a small movie theater, rehearsal space, classrooms, an art gallery, study spaces and a café.
Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday at northrop.umn.edu.
Mariellen Jacobson, the group's treasurer, said topics will include "excessive use of the endowment to 'balance' the budget, red flags that the MOA's auditor should have caught, and misleading 'all is well' statements made to legislators, the city and donors."
Ulitmatley, she said, "We hope to drive constructive resolution through our specific "calls to action for the MOA, musicians, governor, state auditor, state attorney general, legislature, city and individuals."