State of the Arts Blog

MN Orchestra musicians vote ‘no confidence’ in CEO Henson

Locked-out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra today issued a no-confidence vote in Orchestra President and CEO Michael Henson.

Management says it needs large salary cuts for the players to keep the orchestra financially viable. Musicians say the cuts will severely damage the Orchestra.

After attempts failed to agree on a new contract management locked out musicians October first and there have been no negotiations since.

A release from the musicians this afternoon says Henson's removal is key to resolving the current lockout. Musicians negotiation committee member Tim Zavadil says "The lack of partnership between Henson and the Musicians since his arrival has been dysfunctional and adversarial due to his management style and lack of leadership ability."

Minnesota Orchestra management has not yet responded to the release.

Update as of 4:28pm The Minnesota Orchestra has issued a statement from Board Chair Jon Campbell in response to the no-confidence vote:

"Michael Henson is a perfect leader at this challenging time and has the full confidence of our board. This is simply the latest publicity tactic by musicians to avoid addressing the real issue that is facing our organization: a longstanding structural deficit that we need to alleviate. The only obstacle between musicians and board working out a new contract is the musicians' perplexing refusal to put forward a single contract proposal after nearly eight months of talks. We hope the musicians will soon dispense with these tactics and invest their energies in producing a substantial counterproposal."