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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.
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.
Responses to the resignation of Osmo Vanska came in Tuesday from both musicians and the board of Minnesota Orchestra:
“The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are deeply saddened by the resignation of our beloved Maestro Osmo Vanska. Through his tenure, he has led the orchestra to remarkable musical heights. We enjoyed a truly rare chemistry with him and are deeply grateful to Osmo for imparting his passionate vision, exacting discipline, and the resulting confidence that came from being at the top of our game."
from Minnesota Orchestra Board Chair Jon Campbell
We are very sorry that Music Director Osmo Vänskä has announced his resignation, as it has always been our hope that he would see the Minnesota Orchestra through this challenging period.
We will always be grateful to our generous foundation community for coming forward with additional funding over the last few weeks to enable a proposed contract resolution with musicians that represented our very best efforts to save the Carnegie concerts and Maestro Vänskä’s tenure. The Board has done everything in its power to reach a compromise with musicians by September 30, and we are very sorry they have rejected all efforts.
Music Director Osmo Vänskä has been an extraordinary conductor, and we are profoundly thankful for his service to the Orchestra and our audiences, and our organization will continue to celebrate his many achievements. He will hold a distinguished legacy in the history of the Minnesota Orchestra.
Ellison's letter said in part: "I am writing to respectfully urge you to end the 11-month lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra musicians and accept the interim agreement proposed by [Mitchell]."
Ellison said both management and musicians have legitimate concerns about the future of the orchestra, "which is why a neutral mediator with the skill of Senator Mitchell is so critical to this process."
Music director Osmo Vanska has said he will resign if he cannot get the orchestra back on stage by Sept. 30, in order to prepare for concerts at Carnegie Hall in November. He considers those concerts a key part of his tenure with the orchestra. Management has said for that to happen, it would need an agreement by Sunday. Musicians favor the Mitchell plan, which would end the lockout for four months while both sides negotiate.
Politicians are becoming more vocal in their thoughts on the Minnesota Orchestra situation. Gov. Mark Dayton said at a press conference Monday that the two sides (union musicians and board/management) need to start considering the impact their dispute is having on Minnesotans. Stop thinking only about yourselves, the governor essentially said.
Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak (at left with the Orchestra in 2006), in an interview about the fate of music director Osmo Vanska, said that the two sides have to look to each other for answers, and not count on others to solve the dispute.
"Both sides have to stop looking for others to bail them out," Rybak said. "There have been many people who have stepped in over time, but all have reached the conclusion that this will only be solved by the two sides at a bargaining table. Lock yourself in a room and shut up about it until you come back with a solution. The community is disgusted and desperate."
The mayor, who helped to organize a concert celebrating the Orchestra's Grammy nomination last February, said, "We have to to have dramatic change from both sides. We are in a serious crisis."
Rybak said he has always been willing to do whatever it takes privately but that the public nature of the dispute has been corrosive.
"I'm a former reporter but the constant communication through the media has built such hostility that this cannot be solved by someone from the outside," he said.
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