Minnesota Orchestra
Photo: Tim Rummelhoff

In Minneapolis and Saint-Paul, the future of the Twin Cities Minnesota Orchestra is more and more uncertain. The musicians write in an open letter: « Now, our world-renowned Music Director, Osmo Vänskä, has publicly said that he will resign if the lockout doesn’t end. Our top players are being offered positions throughout the country, and we are already down more than 20 musicians from our full complement. Principal Clarinet Burt Hara, Principal Second Violin Gina DiBello, and Concertmaster Erin Keefe, all vital leaders of our orchestra, are just the latest wave of potential departures. Many more will follow. If this orchestra’s management and board leadership does not have the vision to maintain a world-class Orchestra here in the Twin Cities, then perhaps it is time for other board members and community leaders to step forward. The Musicians have sacrificed for over seven months. It is past time to end the lockout so that we can work together to bring the music back on stage. »

« Step forward » could mean, create a new organization. That’s what Bill Eddins, Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, has been blogging: « It’s broke. Why bother trying to fix it? Throw it out. When I moved into my house in 1995 I discovered that my laboring clothes dryer was from 1951. That poor dryer could barely get above 80 degrees (Fahrenheit, I must add) and it did not take me long to have a new dryer delivered and installed by my local large appliance store. I firmly believe that the Minnesota Orchestra is in that same boat. Let us see if all those who share a love and passion for the mighty Minnesota manage to create a new and more flexible governance model and get back on the road to prosperity. »

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