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Minnesota Orchestra lockout hits 6-month mark Monday

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The lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra will hit the six-month mark Monday, and with no movement in talks between musicians and management, the cancellation of the rest of the orchestra's season appears to be a certainty, the Star Tribune reports.

Orchestra musicians were locked out starting Oct. 1, and has the dispute has dragged on amid the renovation of Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis. The project is expected to be completed by July.

Orchestra management, meanwhile, has canceled concerts through April 27.

The landmark in the lockout approaches as talks in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra move forward.

The SPCO announced Friday that they have submitted a counteroffer to management -- the latest part of exchange spurred by an intervention in the dispute by St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman last week.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, on the other hand, doesn't appear to be primed to get in the middle of talks between the Minnesota Orchestra and management yet.

When asked by the paper for a response to the six-month lockout anniversary, Rybak replied in an email through a representative, saying the dispute "will only be resolved when both sides start talking to each other."

Rybak, the paper noted, hosted a "neutral" concert in February celebrating the orchestra's recent Grammy nomination.

Earlier this week, about 100 members of the Minnesota Legislature requested an audit of the Minnesota Orchestra's use of state money.

Minnesota legislative auditor Jim Nobles said the orchestra has received state money for several purposes, including money to remodel Orchestra Hall.

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