Minn. Orchestra greats return to help locked-out musicians with holiday concerts

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Two high-profile former members of the Minnesota Orchestra came back to Minneapolis Saturday for a pair of holiday concerts featuring the locked-out musicians, the Star Tribune reported.

Edo de Waart, who was music director from 1986 to 1995, and Jorja Fleezanis, who was concertmaster from 1989 to 2009, talked with the paper about the labor dispute, which locked musicians out of their jobs at Orchestra Hall since October.

Management has proposed cutting minimum salaries by 32 percent.

Saying his heart is still with the Minnesota Orchestra, de Waart told the Star Tribune that "it was not brain surgery to show my support for the musicians."

The holiday concerts, which will be Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota, is being produced independently by the musicians.

Management previously announced that it had canceled all holiday concerts at Orchestra Hall through Dec. 23.

The musicians previously gathered to play a concert at the Minneapolis Convention Center on Oct. 18 -- which would have been the opening of their 110th season.

Meanwhile, there has been no progress for the musicians with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, who have been locked out since Oct. 21.

Management initially canceled all SPCO for 2012 in November, and this week called off all concerts through Feb. 8.

SPCO members assembled to play a sold-out concert at a Wayzata church earlier this month.

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Locked out Minnesota Orchestra musicians to play 2 December concerts

Musicians with the locked out Minnesota Orchestra said Friday they will play concerts in the Twin Cities in December in light of the news that management's announcement Thursday that it was cancelling all concerts at Orchestra Hall through Dec. 23. The orchestra members will play Dec. 15 and Dec. 16 at Ted Mann Concert Hall under the direction of Edo de Waart, who was the orchestra's music director from 1986 to 1995.