Minnesota Orchestra conductor, Osmo Vanska, has resigned amidst a yearlong labor dispute.
In the most recent negotiations, management asked the musicians to take a 25 percent pay cut, a proposal which the musicians unanimously rejected, as Associated Press reported on October 1, 2013.
During his time as music director, Vanska helped the Minnesota Orchestra grow to world-class status. The orchestra has earned a reputation as one of the finest in the country, particularly in Nordic repertoire.
When the orchestra performed at New York City's Carnegie Hall in 2010, New Yorker critic Alex Ross wrote that they "sounded, to my ears, like the greatest orchestra in the world."
The orchestra was scheduled to perform two concerts at Carnegie Hall in November 2013, but ended up having to withdraw because management and the musicians were unable to agree on a new contract for the players, as New York Times reported.
Musicians and fans have been speaking out against the management. As they commented, "why would the orchestra management raise $110 million to build for the future, but tell musicians to take a 30 to 50 percent pay cut? Why would they spend $50 million for new lobby at Orchestra Hall, including $14 million in taxpayers' money, if the world class music may be gone?"
On October 1, the Minnesota Orchestra musicians posted an open letter, writing, "there will be a time, and it will be very soon, to begin dissecting the reasons that these negotiations have led us to such a terrible pass, but tonight is not that time. Tonight is a night to celebrate the remarkable tenure of Osmo Vänskä, to hold all that we accomplished together up to the light, and to reflect on what has been lost today."
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