Legislative Auditor to examine MN Orchestra

Legislative auditor Jim Nobles says he will examine the use of state funds by the Minnesota Orchestra.

A group of 100 state legislators requested the audit March 7 amid concern about the impact of the ongoing lockout of musicians by management.

Nobles said the orchestra has received state money from several sources.

"Some from bond money to remodel the facility, Orchestra Hall, but other money as well, and so we are going to look at all of it," Nobles said.

Nobles said he will not be examining business plans and projections which have been at the core of the labor dispute.

"We are not, for example, going to examine the business plans, the financial projections for the future that are I think kind of at the heart of the dispute," Nobles said.

He also said it will take time to do the audit properly — probably weeks if not months. Nobles is reassigning staff currently working on other issues to get the orchestra audit under way.

In a statement released by the Minnesota Orchestra, President and CEO Michael Henson welcomed the audit.

"We are pleased to work with the Legislative Auditor on this review and hope that it can be undertaken immediately. The Minnesota Orchestra has always been a diligent steward of public funds," Henson said.