Osmo Vänskä
Photo: A Marsden

The Minnesota Orchestra announced that it has extended contract agreements with both Music Director Osmo Vänskä (until 2019) and the Orchestra’s musicians – the latter 21 months in advance of the current contract’s expiration.

“Osmo Vänskä and Minnesota Orchestra musicians enjoy a remarkable partnership, and these agreements, negotiated simultaneously, will allow that partnership to flourish over the next four seasons,” said President and CEO Kevin Smith. “We are profoundly grateful to our donors who stepped forward to support Osmo’s legacy and the musicians’ agreement with such generosity.”

A $5 million gift from Life Director Douglas W. Leatherdale and his wife Louise, contributed over the next five years, will create the Douglas and Louise Leatherdale Music Director Chair in honor of Osmo Vänskä, intended to help support Vänskä’s vision for the Orchestra, including international touring, recording and fostering the artistic growth of the ensemble.

A $1.5 million gift from Betty Jayne Dahlberg will help support the Minnesota Orchestra musicians’ agreement through the Ken and Betty Jayne Dahlberg Fund for the Minnesota Orchestra Musicians. Said Board Chair Warren Mack, “Our board and community members have stepped forward to demonstrate their belief in the Minnesota Orchestra. These gifts will make a difference in the life of the Orchestra.”

The terms of the three-and-a-half-year musician’s contract include: Increases in members’ minimum weekly salary from $1,967 in 2016-17 to $2,127 by the end of the contract in 2019-20. This represents a 2.5 percent increase in 2017-18; 2.75 percent increase in 2018-19; and 3% percent in 2019-20. There is also an agreed-on schedule to fill positions in the Orchestra, with the number of players increasing from 84 in 2016-17 to 88 by the final year of the contract.

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