It was supposed to be opening night of the 2012-13 concert season of the Minnesota Orchestra, but the lockout over a labor dispute resulted in cancellation of six weeks of musicmaking in Minneapolis.
That allowed music director Osmo Vanska to be in Chicago on Oct. 18, leading the famed Chicago Symphony Orchestra in the Symphony No. 1 and the Double Concerto of Brahms.
That same night, the locked-out musicians of Minnesota Orchestra played a sold-out concert at the Convention Center, led by Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and reviewed here.
Vanska was retained by the CSO following the sudden cancellation of a guest appearance by conductor Bernard Haitink.
Reviewing the concert for the Chicago Tribune, critic John von Rhein said Vanska "kept the audience on the edge of their seats." He noted the Finnish conductor's "excitable and somewhat unorthodox podium manner," and credited Vanska for improving the artistic fortunes of the MO. Read his complete review here.
The musicians off the CSO handed out a flyer at their concerts that urged Vanska "to use his influence to persuade the Board and Management to negotiate in a spirit of compromise and respect. The musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra support their Minnesota colleagues in their efforts to achieve a contract that will preserve The Minnesota Orchestra."
No talks are currently scheduled between management and musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. An announcement is expected in mid-November regarding concerts in December that remain on the schedule.
Minnesota Orchestra violinist Peter McGuire and contrabassoonist Norbert Nielubowski, who were substitute musicians with the CSO for the concerts with Osmo Vänskä, helped distribute leaflets to CSO audiences.