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Minnesota Orchestra board meeting on fate of Vänskä, CEO

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The fates of former Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä and President and CEO Michael Henson are being discussed by the orchestra's board Friday in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reports.

Sources tell the paper that the board is deeply divided on the situation with the director and executive. New board chairman Gordon Sprenger has reportedly come out in praise of Henson; but Vänskä, who resigned from his position Oct. 1, told Classical Minnesota Public Radio that Henson should leave in order for the orchestra to heal.

The Star Tribune says the musicians are also calling for the ousting of Henson and want Vänskä to return.

Vänskä said he was open to returning to his position as music director after the 16-month-long labor dispute was settled in January. The orchestra returned to work earlier this month.

Since both Vänskä and Henson have support from the board, proposals have reportedly surfaced that called for the director to return and for Henson to stay on with the orchestra, but in a different capacity. Vänskä, however, appears not willing to compromise, the Star Tribune says.

According to the New York Times, Henson also seems unwilling to leave his position, saying he would stay and take a 15 percent cut in pay – the same amount the players agreed to in the new contract.

The director, who still has a home in Minneapolis, will return as a guest director to lead the orchestra in concerts March 27-29 to celebrate the recordings that earned the orchestra a Grammy Award last month.

The Star Tribune says there is significant pressure on the board to make some decision on Vänskä’s fate before the March concerts.

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