Minnesota Orchestra withdraws from Carnegie Hall concerts

5:01 PM, Sep 30, 2013   |    comments
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New York's Carnegie Hall (file photo - Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS - Failed negotiations have resulted in the cancellation of Minnesota Orchestra concerts scheduled at New York's Carnegie Hall.

"We appreciate the patience Carnegie Hall management has shown our orchestra, but because these concerts are only a month away, we cannot ask them to delay this commitment any longer," said Minnesota Orchestra Board Negotiating Chair Richard Davis.

Over the weekend, musicians rejected the Minnesota Orchestral Association's fourth proposal in the 17-month labor dispute, and the board rejected a pair of counter-proposals on Monday.

"Management rejected both proposals and refused to offer any new counter proposals or negotiate. The management and board have chosen this path. The musicians remain committed to find a compromise and meet throughout the night," said the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra in a statement.

"We have done our very best to try to reach a compromise agreement by Sept. 30," Davis said. "We have worked with the mediator, consulted with the governor, collaborated with community leaders, issued two new proposals in the last two weeks and held a last minute meeting with musician negotiators."

Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä had previously outlined to Carnegie Hall management that musicians needed to be in rehearsals the week of Sept. 30 in order to allow appropriate preparation time for the Orchestra's performances at the New York venue on Nov. 2 and 3.

In a letter last spring, Vänskä told the board that he would resign from the orchestra if the ensemble did not perform these concerts.

"We understand that our music director considers these New York performances vital to his Minnesota tenure, and we share his disappointment at having to withdraw from the concerts, but we could no longer commit to the dates given the decision by the musicians to reject our proposals," said Davis.

Davis said that the board hopes Vänskä will choose to remain with the Minnesota Orchestra and fulfill his contract. Vänskä's contract with the Orchestra runs through September 2015.

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