Orchestra management makes new offer, as Vanska departure looms

Osmo Vanska
Osmo Vanska, pictured here in Feb. 2013, has said he needs to be rehearsing with musicians by next week to get ready for Carnegie Hall concerts in November.
MPR photo/Euan Kerr

With a Monday deadline looming to prevent the departure of conductor Osmo Vanska, Minnesota Orchestra management today revealed details of its latest contract offer to locked out musicians.

The three-year deal would cut musicians salaries from an average of $135,000 a year under the old contract to $104,500. Each musician would also receive a $20,000 signing bonus, management said.

The new proposal, made possible using additional money in a bridge fund recently created by 15 local foundations and companies, would still result in a $3.6 million deficit over three years, orchestra officials said. Management wants a musicians vote on the offer by noon Monday.

Blois Olson, a representative of the locked out musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra say they are offended by the way management released its latest proposal.

Olson said the musicians are upset the offer was made in public and not through the mediator, former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell.

"Musicians are deeply offended that once again management has left the Mitchell process, violated the terms of the Mitchell process," Olson said. "The musicians are in conversations with the mediator and will continue to work through the mediator."

Olson said the musicians will only react to the proposal through the mediator.

Orchestra President Michael Henson said the orchestra's board and management wanted the public to know about the offer because it included money from local foundations and companies.

"We felt that it was important that as this offer was generated by the community that we actually make the community aware of this offer outside the mediation process," Henson said.

Vanska has said he needs to be rehearsing with musicians by next week to get ready for Carnegie Hall concerts in November and will resign if they are cancelled.

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