Skip to main content

Further fallout: 8 Minnesota Orchestra board members resign

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Eight members of the Minnesota Orchestral Association Board resigned in the wake of President and CEO Michael Henson's announcement that he would step down on Aug. 31, according to media reports.

This is further fallout from the management's 16-month lockout of the players, the New York Times says. The lockout ended in January.

Henson stepped down after a turbulent year of contract negotiations, KARE 11 says. Save Our Symphony Minnesota said it is disappointed to learn of the board members' resignations, but it believes replacing Henson is necessary to bring the Minnesota Orchestra back "from the brink of disaster," according a press release.

“By encouraging a person to resign — one who had tirelessly helped us work toward sustainability — we send the wrong message to future applicants for that position,” wrote Teri E. Popp, an attorney in Wayzata and a member of the board's executive committee, in a letter to board chairman Gordon Sprenger, according to the Star Tribune.

Gordon Sprenger, the current chairman, also issued a statement: “I was disappointed to receive any resignations – as these directors have all been very dedicated members of the board. I hope we are able to get some to reconsider, but I respect their opinions and decisions," according to the New York Times.

More than 10 percent of the 77-member board resigned. The list includes Popp, James Lawrence, CEO of Rothschild North America in New York, Jack Farrell of Haskell Wines, attorney Gregory Pulles (also a member of the executive committee), John P. Whaley of Norwest Equity Partners, David Wichmann, chief financial officer of United Health, Timothy O’Brien of Pine River Capital and Anne W. Miller, a former WAMSO president, according to the Star Tribune.

Last week, former Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä said he’s negotiating with orchestra management about a possible return to his old job. Save Our Symphony Minnesota says Vänskä's return will help restore the orchestra's international reputation. He's in the Twin Cities this weekend helping the orchestra celebrate its win at the Grammys.

Next Up


Winter weather advisory issued as Saturday snow arrives

Not huge totals expected, but any snow will likely impact travel.


Report: Ryan Poles is Vikings' 'top choice' for general manager

Poles was one of two finalists revealed on Friday.

Payton Willis

Willis carries shorthanded Gophers to beat Rutgers

The senior scored a career-high 32 points to end a four-game losing streak.


Charges: St. Paul man had sexual contact 'multiple times' with 12-year-old girl

Marcus Steichen, 21, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Charges: Mom killed infant son just weeks after getting him back from foster care

The 10-month-old died in her care in Brooklyn Park last April.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Arrests made following fentanyl bust in St. Cloud

Authorities searched two St. Cloud apartments Friday morning.

potatoes 2

Minnesota's 'frozen potato freeway' closure attracts plenty of comment

It was, let's face it, a very Minnesotan reason for a freeway closure.

Screen Shot 2022-01-21 at 9.07.54 AM

U of M fraternity raises money for chef's knee surgery

The GoFundMe has raised around $1,700 of its $5,000 goal.

unsplash restaurant cashier register COVID face mask - crop

7 restaurant, bar groups sue Minneapolis over dining vaccine mandate

"Minneapolis bars and restaurants are being used as pawns..." the lawsuit said.

Screen Shot 2022-01-22 at 7.47.53 AM

Woman fatally shot in St. Paul's North End neighborhood

It's the fourth homicide so far this year in St. Paul.


Wild flip the script, dominate Blackhawks

Ryan Hartman scored twice to earn the first game of a back-to-back.

Hopkins Basketball

Hopkins suffers rare loss to No. 1 ranked Sidwell Friends

The Royals held their own in a battle of the nation's best.