Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PEOPLE OF MINNESOTA
Minnesota is not just a state. It is, and has always been, a unique community that prides itself on extraordinary civic engagement and leadership. From our thriving business community to our unrivaled commitment to the outdoors, professional sports, and the arts, our region has strived to be a global leader. Over the past several years, the Minnesota Orchestra has achieved the global acclaim to which our region has always aspired. In fact, a New Yorker magazine review of our February 2010 Carnegie Hall performance said we “sounded like the greatest orchestra in the world.” Our audiences at home in Minneapolis and around the state have echoed those accolades. As we enter the eighth month of our management’s unilateral lockout of the Orchestra’s musicians, we think it’s time to recall some key facts: • The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra have offered multiple collaborative opportunities to work with Management to end the lockout, including binding federal arbitration. • Despite having the 6th largest orchestral endowment in North America, Management’s plan would see the Minnesota Orchestra drop forever out of the top tier of American Symphony Orchestras. • As reported in the media, Management’s fiscal practices “walked a thin line” by reporting balanced budgets through endowment draws to help secure tax dollars for the remodeling of Orchestra Hall, then reporting deficits when it was time to negotiate a new contract with Musicians. • Management’s “final offer” would require that the base salary of a Minnesota Orchestra musician would plummet, overnight, to a figure that, adjusted for inflation, equates to what our Musicians were earning in 1983. • Every one of our peer symphony orchestras in negotiations this past year (Cleveland, Chicago, National, San Francisco) has settled reasonable contracts with modest increases or freezes in compensation. 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. Please contact our board leaders and urge them to step aside so that truly civic-minded and globally aspirational leadership can step forward. We thank you for your ongoing support. Sincerely,

The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra
Please Contact Jon Campbell, CEO Wells Fargo Minnesota Orchestra Board Chair campbell@wellsfargo.com (612) 316-1985 Richard Davis, CEO US Bank Negotiating Committee Chair Richard.Davis@usbank.com (612) 303-0840

Paid for by the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra www.MinnesotaOrchestraMusicians.com

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