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Crucial date arrives for Vänskä, Minnesota Orchestra

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The fate of Osmo Vänskä as the director of the Minnesota Orchestra hangs in the balance as a crucial date arrives Monday in the contract dispute between musicians and management, the Star Tribune reports.

Vänskä previously stated that he would resign if his musicians weren't back on-stage and rehearsing the week of Sept. 30 in order to prepare for a concert at Carnegie Hall in New York City in November.

The paper said Vänskä has not said anything in recent days to contradict his earlier statements.

Musicians, however, told Minnesota Public Radio Saturday that they don't believe Monday is a hard deadline for Vänskä.

The lockout of the musicians hits the one-year mark on Tuesday.

The musicians' union voted unanimously to reject management's offer on Saturday. Management has yet to come back with a counterproposal.

Management extended their latest offer Thursday, a three-year proposal that offered an average annual salary of over $104,000 per musician and included a $20,000 signing bonus.

Had the musicians accepted the offer, the monies for the bonuses would have come from a one-time special fund by Minnesota foundations and support entities.

In a statement on behalf of the musicians Saturday, spokesman Blois Olson called the offer "artistically unsustainable" and that "musicians have long said this is not just about money."

"It’s about maintaining the world-class talent and reputation of the orchestra," Olson said.

Management meanwhile, claims the offer was "a true compromise" and they were disappointed that musicians "have not yet indicated a similar willingness to compromise or offer a serious proposal of their own."

Orchestra president Michael Henson also claims the musicians are not recognizing the organization's large, long-term financial challenges.

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