Minnesota Orchestra cancels concerts through December 23rd

Management of the Minnesota Orchestra today cancelled all concerts through December 23rd. In a release Orchestra Board Chair Jon Campbell cited lack of progress in contract negotiations with musicians who management locked out on October 1st. Management cancelled all concerts through Thanksgiving at that time.

"In consideration of the needs of audiences, guest artists and our performance venue to make alternate plans for the holiday season, we feel we have no choice but to cancel performances through December 23," Campbell said in the statement. "We make this decision with heavy hearts, and once again ask our musicians to return to the negotiating table with a substantive proposal so our concert schedule can resume as soon as possible."

UPDATE: In an interview this afternoon musicians negotiator Tim Zavadil said the musicians were disappointed by the cancellations. He said it's up to management to end the lock-out and invite the musicians back to the table.

"It's kind of a bullying tactic to blame the victim," he said. "We are the ones who have had our salaries taken away, we've had our health insurance taken away. Our audience is the one who has had its concerts taken away."

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Management has tried to reschedule artists booked to perform during the upcoming holidays for roughly the same dates in 2013. Ticketholders can hold on to their tickets for those rescheduled concerts, or turn them in for a refund.

The rescheduled concerts are:

• Celtic Woman, December 7 | rescheduled date TBA

• Chris Botti Christmas, December 14 | rescheduled date November 29, 2013

• The Tenors, December 19 | rescheduled date TBA

• A Scandinavian Christmas, December 20 & 22 | both dates rescheduled for December 21, 2013

• Jingle Bell Doc, December 21 | rescheduled for December 20, 2013

• Jingle Bell Doc, December 23 | rescheduled for December 22, 2013

Earlier this week locked out musicians called on management to avoid any further cancellations.

Meanwhile management and locked out musicians of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra are scheduled to negotiate today. Musicians rejected a contract proposal on October 31st, causing management to cancel all SPCO concerts through the end of 2012.

A representative of the musicians said they will be returning to the negotiations with ideas as to how to get talks moving again as opposed to a full contract proposal. There is no end time scheduled for todays meeting.