Rally To Mark The One Year Anniversary of the Lockout

Please join us to show solidarity and support as the Lockout hits the one year mark.

Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2013
Time: 5:30 PM
Place: Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall (Gather on the corner of 11th Street and Nicollet Mall)

On October 1, 2013 the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra will have been locked-out from Orchestra Hall By the Minnesota Orchestral Association without pay and benefits for a full year.

Rally to End the Lockout

Ending the Lockout Will Be a Ball, coinciding with the Symphony Ball, sponsored by Save Our Symphony Minnesota, September 20, 2013

The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra want to thank Rallyeveryone who attended the rally coinciding with the Symphony Ball last night, with great appreciation to SOSMN for their fantastic organization of such a unifying and inspiring event!

Our hats off to all of those who shared musical offerings – The Band of Praise, Copper Street Brass, Charlie Maguire and the Twin Cities Labor Chorus, the TC Horn Club, the UW Eau Claire Trombone Choir, and brass players from the SPCO, YMM, and Minnesota Orchestra all brought festive music to the evening, even in the pouring rain.

Thank you to Emily Green of YMM and Emily Hogstad of Song of the Lark for their inspiring speeches, and to all of the politicians who stopped by to show their support. Bravo to Rep. Jim Davnie, City Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Betsy Hodges, mayoral candidate Mark Andrew, and City Council candidate Matt Perry! All of you have our most sincere gratitude!


Ending the Lockout Will Be a Ball!

Please Join the Musicians and SOSMN for a Rally to Bring Back the Music and Preserve a World-Class Minnesota Orchestra

Coinciding with Symphony Ball and Crash the Ball
Friday, September 20, 2013
Outside Orchestra Hall, 1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
5:00 – 9:30 pm

Come when you can, leave when you must
Bring the kids
Dress up or dress down, just dress warmly!

Approximate Schedule:                                                                                              

5:00  Gather at Peavey Plaza
5:30 Peacefully greet Symphony Ball attendees with placards provided by Save Our Symphony Minnesota (SOSMN)
5:00-6:00   Music on the sidewalk: Brass, Choral, and Dixieland, including Musicians from the Minnesota Orchestra, Copper Street Brass, UW-Eau Claire Trombone Choir, and the Twin Cities Horn Club.
6:00-6:30   Short speeches by Tony Ross of the Musicians and SOSMN special guest, the world-famous, Ms. Emily Hogstad (“Song of the Lark”)
6:30-7:30   More music, singing and dancing
7:00-8:30   Feel free to take a break for a bite to eat downtown, in recognition of the economic hardship the lockout has brought to downtown businesses
8:00-8:30   Peacefully greet Crash the Ball attendees
8:30-9:30   More music, a reprise of some speeches, a procession around the block  by New-Orleans style jazz band, “Band of Praise.” Glow sticks and necklaces will be provided.

This rally, sponsored and organized by SOSMN, will take place irrespective of the state of the lockout. We’re not vilifying the donors who are attending the two Balls, but rather celebrating music and musicians while asking those Ball-goers to use their influence to bring back the Orchestra.  The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra and SOSMN and recognize that all portions of the community – everyone from wealthy donors to young students – must come together to make the Minnesota Orchestra a successful institution. As such, we invite all lovers of music to attend this rally!

If you’re planning to attend, please click “join” on SOSMN’s Facebook event.  It will help enormously with planning.

Additional details will be provided on the SOSMN Facebook page throughout this week.  Please visit and like: 

Fall Series – Tickets on Sale Now!

Our Commitment to You, Our Audience

The Musicians are committed to the needs of our greatest stakeholders, our audiences of the past, present and future.

We have been working around the clock to reach a reasonable contract settlement with our management. Until we achieve that, we must plan ahead to ensure that the community has access to great performances of live symphonic music.

_DSC6123We are launching our own self-produced Fall Concert Series. The series, including educational enrichment programs, begins with two exciting concerts:

October 4th and 5th, at 8:00 PM Ted Mann Concert Hall

The concerts will feature star piano soloist, Emanuel Ax, in a program to include Beethoven Concerto No. 3, Mozart Concerto No. 27, and Stravinsky’s spectacular Suite from The Firebird.

Buy your tickets today: Click Here to Buy Tickets.

We Need Your Help

MNO_56Without ownership of a hall or assistance from an endowment, we need added support from the community that built this world-class orchestra.

We are delighted to announce that thanks to our generous supporters in this community and around the nation, as of today, we have established a matching fund for your donations of $150,000 in contributions toward our concerts and educational enrichment programs.

Please give generously today to keep this orchestra alive! Let’s join together to ensure that Minnesotans continue to have access to a world-class symphony orchestra!




Every donation you make will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Musicians.

Mission Statement for our Fall Concert Series

The Musicians believe that a professional symphony orchestra is an integral part of the cultural fabric of every great city. Our mission is to maintain and grow an engaged and supportive audience for classical music in the state of Minnesota.

Write to the MOA Board: Accept the Mediator’s Proposal

We are asking all our supporters to contact the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Orchestral Association and urge them to accept the Mediator’s independent proposal for an interim agreement that would end the lockout, save Osmo Vänskä and the Carnegie Hall tour, and open a new season of great music in a refurbished Orchestra Hall. While many of you have done this before, it is so important that the Board hear from you again. There is still time to get this done!

Below is the most recent contact information we have available. We are aware that some of these email addresses are out-of-date or undeliverable. We are doing our best to fix this, but in the meantime many of the addresses will still work.

You can also copy/paste the entire list from this link.

Board of Directors as listed on the Minnesota Orchestra website:

Life Directors

Directors Emeriti

    • Margaret D. Ankeny, Wayzata, MN
    • Mari Carlson, Director of Development, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, MN, carlsonmari@hotmail.com
    • Andrew Czajkowski, President & CEO, Retired, Blue Cross & Blue Shield, 
St. Paul, MN
    • Dolly J. Fiterman, Minneapolis, MN
    • Beverly Grossman, Minneapolis, MN, bngrossman@aol.com
    • Karen H. Hubbard, Lakeland, MN, khhubbard@hbi.com
    • Hella Mears Hueg, St. Paul, MN, hellam@mindspring.com
    • Joan A. Mondale, Minneapolis, MN
    • Susan Platou, Wayzata, MN, csplatou@aol.com
Honorary Directors

Reality Check – September 10

250px-Cloud-computing-reality-checkThe Musicians are working tirelessly outside of the public eye to settle our contract dispute with the MOA (Minnesota Orchestral Association), with the help of the independent mediator. Each of the musicians and their families have donated one year’s pay and benefits to the Minnesota Orchestra, not with hopes of higher salaries, but with the hope of a great orchestra to serve the Twin Cities and state.

While we work toward a resolution, we cannot let recent disingenuous assertions made by the MOA stand unchallenged:

1. The MOA’s most recent offer proposed “…a return to work at expired-contract rates for a two-month period of “play and talk” negotiations…”

Who would possibly believe that the MOA, after locking the musicians out for nearly a year, would negotiate in good faith during those two months when their own cuts, ranging from 25-42%, are guaranteed to snap into effect for the balance of a two-year contract?

2. The MOA refers to an “average annual salary” of over $102,000.

The real annual base salary contained in their proposal comes to $84,903, resulting in a 25-42% pay cut for every performing musician.

3. One of the MOA’s most persistent drumbeats, parroted by the Star Tribune editorial board, is that “…the agenda of [the Musicians’] New York labor attorneys doesn’t match the best interests of Minnesota audiences.”

Our “New York Labor attorney” has quietly settled two contracts in Cleveland, an orchestra which was then able turn its united energy to raising young people’s attendance, ticket revenue, and revenue-generating residencies by promoting its brand as one of the world’s most excellent ensembles. These same inspiring results are achievable here in Minnesota, a community that prides itself on excellence.

 4. “The board negotiating committee will meet anytime, anywhere, without preconditions, to negotiate,” and their proposal includes “Revenue sharing with musicians if the Orchestra met its earned income budget.”

A lockout IS a precondition, as any negotiator or mediator is aware. And as reported in the Star Tribune, Management has said it will not lift the lockout because it then sacrifices leverage.

References to “revenue sharing” are an obvious red herring. Management continues to refuse access to the basic financial documents needed for transparency. The Musicians have yet to see the 2013 budget, annual reports and annual contribution reports for the past 15 years, the 2014 budget and season, and the current total of all orchestra endowments.

Minnesota’s best interests:

  • Is it in Minnesota’s best interest to have its leading newspaper embrace the notion that we can’t afford the world-class arts organization we have sustained for 110 years, even as arts giving is increasing?
  • Does the New York advisory consultant hired by the MOA for their bought-and-paid-for financial analysis have Minnesota’s best interests in mind when he echoes the MOA’s downward spiral thinking, without any comparative research?
  • Does the MOA’s lawyer, who locked out the Crystal Sugar workers for 2 years, have Minnesota’s best interests at heart when applying hardball industrial tactics to an organization that depends on the goodwill of the community for donations?

We think not.

Our Past and Our Future:

  • The Musicians self-produced and performed 18 concerts for Minnesota audiences during our locked-out 2012-2013 season, offering free school and community concerts and helping to launch El Sistema in North Minneapolis with concerts, donations for instruments, and a regular volunteer classroom teaching presence. By contrast, MOA management spent $13.7M this past year and did not produce a single concert.
  • The Dayton Family and Veteran Board Members who have a deep love for great music have generously nurtured the Minnesota Orchestra to its recent status as the “world’s greatest.”
  • Audience Members and Patron Support Groups have banded together, written and rallied, to fight for the preservation of Minnesota’s treasure.

We believe all three groups have a common interest in the quality of life for our community. We continue to believe in Minnesota’s arts leadership and community-wide values of excellence. The Musicians envision a future in which we believe in ourselves and what we do best, sharing that passion and serving you, our community. We cannot do that with the ideology of defeat trumpeted by the current MOA leadership team. We can do that only by working together in a respectful and good-faith mediation process to rebuild a world-class orchestra for Minnesota.

Thank you for listening.

A Labor Day Message from the Musicians

Eleven months ago, the MOA locked out the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra. When our audience rose up and decried the lockout, the MOA locked out the audience. When major donors objected to to the lockout, the MOA locked out the donors. When thousands of Minnesotans wrote, called, and e-mailed the MOA to demand an end to the lockout, the MOA barricaded itself inside its offices and locked out the entire community.

And when one of the world’s most admired and respected diplomats agreed to step in and help to mediate, the MOA rejected his carefully considered plan for moving forward, locked the mediator they had chosen out of the bargaining process, and went back to issuing disingenuous press releases intended to smear the musicians and our supporters.

On this Labor Day 2013, after eleven months without salary or health insurance, the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra still stand united and strong. But we also stand with our audience, with our donors, and with those thousands of Minnesotans as we call, one more time, for the MOA to accept the mediator’s proposal, end the lockout, and stop the ongoing destruction of one of our state’s, and our country’s, great arts institutions.