Minnesota Orchestra lockout ends

Following a 15-month lockout, the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra will return to the stage after agreeing to renewed contract terms with the board of directors.

The orchestra was forced to cancel its 2012-13 season after players rejected a 32 per cent cut to base pay back in October 2012.

Last year, Minnesota Orchestra’s music director Osmo Vänskä stepped down after the musicians rejected a fourth proposal put forward by the board.

The terms of the new three-year contract include a 15 per cent reduction in salary from 2012 levels. The minimum base salaries over the three years will be set at USD96,824 (€70,817) the first year, rising to USD99,008 in the second year, and USD102,284 in the third.

Board negotiating chair Richard Davis said: ‘This ratified agreement reflects that both the musicians and the board made concessions on issues of importance to them, which was necessary in order to bring the organisation together again.’

‘Our success now depends on our ability to move forward with positive spirit as one organisation, and we are very pleased to begin this work with the musicians and to engage our audiences with music again.’

Clarinetist and musician negotiator Tim Zavadil said: ‘We are anxious to start performing for our community at home in Orchestra Hall once again. We know that there is a great love for this orchestra throughout the community, and we are confident that this community will, in fact, continue to support world-class music in the Twin Cities.’

The new contract will be effective from 1 February, and the orchestra’s 2014 concert programme will soon be announced.

Photo: Minnesota Orchestra © Greg Helgeson