Locked out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra today announced two concerts in mid-December featuring two former mainstays of the orchestra: Edo de Waart and Jorja Fleezanis.
The announcement came a day after orchestra management canceled all concerts through Dec. 23, citing lack of progress in contract negotiations.
Principal cellist Tony Ross said having de Waart, who was music director at the orchestra for nine years, and Fleezanis who was Minnesota Orchestra's concertmaster for 20 years shows a deep support for the musicians.
"When you come and you hear the Beethoven 9th on Dec. 15th or 16th, you will hear a major league symphony orchestra," Ross said. "I personally hope and pray it's not one of the last times you get to hear this in Minneapolis."
Minnesota Orchestra President Michael Henson said the announcement changes nothing.
"A concert here and a concert there, that's wonderful and I am sure it's going to be magnificent concert," Henson said. "But we need to get back to the table to find a real solution to this challenging situation."
Musicians said cuts proposed by management threaten the future of the orchestra. Henson said the orchestra is now projecting a $6 million deficit for this year and it's now up to the musicians to offer a counter-proposal for contract negotiations to continue. The musicians say because they are locked out that it is up to management to make the next move.