Musicians' rejection of SPCO offer likely means curtains for season

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Musicians rejected the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's latest offer Monday, in a move that seems to squelch hopes of salvaging any part of the orchestra's 2012-13 season.

Management had set a 5 p.m. deadline for an agreement to save some of the current season. Now the orchestra's board plans a Tuesday meeting to discuss the future of the SPCO. The orchestra's president tells the Pioneer Press the failure to reach a deal has implications that "go way beyond this season."

Late last week St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman stepped up his effort to broker a resolution of the lockout that dates back to last October.

When the musicians announced they were rejected management's Friday offer, Coleman sent them a letter. He urged them to reconsider, saying all of the issues seemed to be resolved and calling remaining differences minor or negligible.

The interim president of the SPCO tells MPR that usually by this time of year the orchestra would be selling tickets and subscriptions to the season beginning in the fall. But given the ongoing lockout, that season has not even been scheduled.

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