Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Rejoice: Minnesota Orchestra Lockout Ends!

Email from the Minnesota Orchestra Musicians landed in my inbox a half-hour ago, but I figured it was a concert announcement. No: the lockout has ended. Here's the text in full; I have no further details:

A letter to our friends and community:The Musicians and the Minnesota Orchestra Board of Directors have ratified a new collective bargaining agreement, effective February 1, that brings the lockout of the Musicians to a conclusion. The Orchestra’s first concert performances back on stage at Orchestra Hall are anticipated in early February and will be announced shortly.“The Musicians are pleased that we have come to a solution with our board, and we are ready to begin the hard work that lies ahead together. We are eager to perform for our community at home in Orchestra Hall once again. We have seen firsthand the deep love for this orchestra, and we are confident that this community will, in fact, continue to support a world-class symphony orchestra,” said Tim Zavadil, clarinetist and negotiator.Keeping salaries in the top ten was a critical issue as it allows the orchestra to attract and retain the finest musicians in the country, building on the tradition of excellence that has been cultivated by the community over many generations. The agreement achieves this priority.  With this agreement in place, we look forward to working with new board leadership to rebuild our relationship and the trust within the organization. We take heart that our treasured relationship with our audience will continue at Orchestra Hall.The Musicians thank each and every individual and organization that has supported maintaining a great orchestra for Minnesota over the past 16 months. We have been strong because of you and we will need your continuing strength and passionate voices as we move forward together.We are excited to work with you, our engaged community partners, as we re-vitalize the Minnesota Orchestra. Reuniting all who love great music and this orchestra, we can fulfill our mission of preserving this 110-year old institution and taking it to new heights.We will keep you informed of details as they become available in the coming days. 
With our gratitude,The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

Now comes some hard work: rebuilding an orchestra that has lost around 25 members and a great conductor; rebuilding trust; rebuilding. 

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