Last week I posted a lot of links about the Minnesota Orchestra in order to help myself better organize my thoughts about the entire situation, namely management’s seemingly never ending lockout of the orchestra musicians.
While, last week, I concentrated on articles, letters and blog entries posted about the lockout – as well as the site of the musicians themselves and the management (which is using the official website of the Minnesota Orchestra for its own message) I’ve since learned of one more – that of a website put together by patrons and donors who are trying to save their orchestra.
They have a very active facebook page as well.
The Minnesota Orchestra gave its inaugural performance back in 1903. This is an orchestra that is in its 2nd – yes, second – century of performing.
Only, it’s not performing, is it?
They’ve been locked out by a management that doesn’t want to start negotiating, or even sit at the same table, until the musicians agree to a ridiculously huge (about 35-40%) pay cut. Heck, management even agreed to use former US Senator George Mitchell as a mediator, but then proffered up something to the musicians (which they rejected) outside of the mediation process. Of course, it’s my understanding that the folks in management are still collecting their pay checks. (I’ll be honest – I’m not 100% sure there, so if you’re reading this and know for sure one way or the other, please confirm that for me!)
I buy tickets to concerts. I’m a season ticket holder to my orchestra here in central Ohio, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. It’s a damn good orchestra and I happily pay my hard-earned money to hear the musicians perform and create amazingly good music.
I don’t pay to see management. I pay to hear the musicians perform. I’ve only met 1-2 members of the CSO management team and they were quite friendly, but they’re not the ones I pay to see. I want to pay to hear those who play an instrument or sing. I’m lucky. The Columbus Symphony Orchestra was locked out for only about six months back in 2008. They’re still recovering from that lockout, sure. It’s been a long road and there’s still plenty of recovering yet to do, especially in terms of ticket sales, reputation repair and general knowledge of their existence, but they’re going in the right direction and oh man – are they ever good! They’re also essentially the same orchestra (albeit a slightly smaller version) as what they were in 2008 when the lockout occurred. They still have the majority of the same musicians.
Minnesota has already lost nearly a quarter of its musicians. This picture from their website depicts the already-lost musical brain drain. Here’s a link naming all the musicians who have resigned / moved on / retired.
And here’s a link I especially like. It names all the orchestras around the world that have hired Minnesota Orchestra musicians to perform with them. Bravo to all of them for their support!
Musicians want to play. Patrons want to hear them play.
Come on management. Put your desire for leverage aside and LET THEM PLAY!
To the reader, if you’re interested to see how management has most recently responded, I invite you to check out Does This Qualify as False Advertising? on Mask of the Flower Prince by Scott Chamberlain. Wow. Just – wow.
Other Minnesota Orchestra blog posts from today’s cross-blog event (actual links to be added / corrected as they go live / are posted today)
The Minnesota Orchestra cross-blog event is a collection of more than a dozen bloggers, musicians, patrons, and administrators writing about the orchestra’s devastating work stoppage. You can find all of the contributions in the following list and the authors encourage everyone to participate by sharing, commenting, or publishing something at your own culture blog.
- Bill Eddins (Sticks and Drones); The Cheap Seats
- Daniel Gilliam; MOA Cross-blog contribution
- Drew McManus (Adaptistration) Arrogance is a weed that grows mostly on a dunghill
- Emily Green (guest author); It’s Time to Make Music Again
- Emily Hogstad (Song of the Lark); “Patron Advocates”
- Frank Almond (non divisi) Calling the questions
- Henry Peyrebrune (guest author); The Holy Grail
- Holly Mulcahy (Neo Classical) A Journey Of Legacy, Appreciation, and Heart
- Jim Lieberthal (guest author); A quiet opinion
- Joe Patti (Butts in the Seats); Of Blogs and Boards
- Kevin Case; False Equivalence
- Lisa Hirsch (Iron Tongue of Midnight); Minnesota Orchestra: Down To The Wire
- Rolf Erdahl (guest author); Reflections on Robert Frost’s Mending Wall
- Scott Chamberlain (Mask of the Flower Prince) An Un-Strategic Plan
- Tom Peters (guest author); Baseball and Beethoven: The Minnesota Orchestra, the Marlins and the Perils of Market Correction.