Remainder of Minnesota Orchestra's season canceled


The lockout of the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra took its final toll on 2012-2013 season Wednesday when orchestra management announced the cancellation of the final two weeks of remaining dates on the schedule, the Star Tribune reports.

The musicians have been locked out since Oct. 1.

At the heart of the dispute is a proposal by management to cut base salaries by 32 percent. The musician's union has not made a counter-proposal.

There is still hope for some music from the orchestra this summer, as management proposed three concerts for a brief summer season, provided the dispute is resolved.

The announcement comes as the orchestra's board of director proposed May 20-22 as dates for a negotiation with a federal mediator. The musicians answered the proposal with a statement that would respond in the next couple of days.

If it happens, the summer concerts would take place between July 20 and August 2.

In addition to the cancellation of the rest of the season, orchestra management is facing the potential resignation of music director Osmo Vänskä.

Vänskä said last week that he would leave his post if the orchestra loses a prestigious Nov. 3 engagement at New York’s Carnegie Hall because of the lockout.

The Star Tribune says it is rare for an orchestra to lose an entire season. The Minnesota Orchestra now joins Oklahoma in 1988 and in Louisville in 2011-12 as the other two orchestras to miss all of their seasons' scheduled dates.

The Minnesota Orchestra's Twin Cities counterparts, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra finally resolved their contract dispute last month as musicians ratified a three-year contract. They are scheduled to begin playing concerts again Thursday.

The SPCO also announced Tuesday that Bruce Coppock would be returning for a second stint as president and CEO of the orchestra.

Coppock led the SPCO for nearly a decade before stepping down in 2008 to fight a rare form of cancer, which the orchestra says is now in complete remission.

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