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Members of the Minnesota Orchestra

Brian Peterson, Star Tribune

Minnesota Orchestra trims its staff

  • Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE
  • May 9, 2012 - 10:42 AM

The Minnesota Orchestra has eliminated nine full-time positions, or 13 percent of its full-time administrative staff.

In addition, the orchestra said Tuesday that it has laid off seven part-time employees.

The cuts are in response to the orchestra's 2011 deficit of $2.9 million.

No musicians or artistic staffers were affected by the layoffs. The musicians' union is in negotiations with orchestra management for a new deal to replace the contract that expires in September.

The timing of the staff reductions was intended to coincide with the closing of the season in early June, and the temporary closing of Orchestra Hall. Groundbreaking for a $50 million hall remodeling project will take place this summer. The year-long construction project will expand the lobby and refurbish the auditorium.

The cuts in full-time positions are permanent. Some part-time employees might return when the orchestra returns to the hall in the fall of 2013.

Orchestra spokeswoman Gwen Pappas said every department was affected by the layoffs, either through a reduction or by restructuring.

The cuts are expected to save $450,000, beginning with the 2012-13 season, which begins Sept. 1, she said.

The orchestra cut four positions in 2009 and also reduced salaries and benefits. This new round of cutting affects jobs only. Since 2009, the administrative staff has been reduced by 20 percent.

The orchestra's budget deficit for the year ended Aug. 31, 2011, was the biggest shortfall in its 109-year history.

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