Many patrons, like Emily Hogstad, were left wondering how it will all play out.

“I have no idea yet,” she said. “I think it is way too early for anybody to know, as crazy as that sounds because it’s been going on for a while.”

Hogstad writes The Song of the Lark, a detailed and deeply researched blog that has explored the intricacies of the Minnesota Orchestra dispute. She supports the musicians’ cause and is frustrated by the lack of progress.

“I think if there are changes, they are happening behind the scenes,” Hogstad said, “and we have to do all we can to pressure those who we disagree with to maybe come around to our point of view.”

Hop down a couple of paragraphs and we hear from Michael Henson…

In Minneapolis, Minnesota Orchestra President Michael Henson agreed that the issues will take time to resolve. Musicians have not made a counteroffer to a contract proposal first put on the table in April.

When asked directly if his negotiating team might make a new offer to break the logjam, he said: “We’ll continue to evaluate the most appropriate solutions to find a resolution to this.”

However, he returned time and again to the board’s belief that the orchestra needs to reduce its annual budget to $26 million in order to survive.

So helloooooo, Michael Henson! Any time you want to stop pretending you don’t know who I am, feel free! I promise not to hold your silence against you. All I want is to hear from you and have you answer a few questions. That’s all. I promise.

Maybe if I greet you with some British GIFs gleaned from the Internet, you’d be more likely to return my greeting…? Well, it’s worth a shot. Here goes.








Filed under Labor Disputes, Minnesota Orchestra

6 responses to “SOTL on MPR

  1. Terry

    Congrats, Emily! From the MPR report: “Rolnick said it’s clear the orchestras cannot afford the wages they have paid in the past.” Hogwash! If they would simply spend as much time and effort raising money for musicians’ salaries (and calling it that, not “operating expenses” which sounds way too corporate and impersonal) as they do for new lobbies, all would be well. The outpouring of public support for the musicians during this unethical lockout proves my point, I think.

    • I agree.

      To the best of my knowledge, Rolnick has no expertise in the arts…

      • Sarah

        Rolnick has also written for the Center for the American Experiment. I think that tells you where his expertise lies . . . .

      • Terry

        Oh, God, I had no idea. But I should have guessed. His comments are a real piece of work (I think the U should cut his salary about 30-50% given the worth of his analysis in this matter).

        “The business model that they have been using up until now [is no longer successful]. And that’s just the reality.” Well, Art, perhaps the problem is with the “business” aspect of that model! Last time I looked, the orchestral association was a non-profit institution, not a business. Big difference.

        “The salaries look like they are somewhat out of line competetively; how much out of line is maybe debatable.” I don’t believe this is at all correct, from what I’ve been reading and hearing since the unethical lockout began on October 1st.

        “But they are going to have no choice. If they want to exist, they have to come up with a sustainable economic model.” Which should include firing Henson, forcing the resignation of Campbell, ending the lockout to the advantage of the musicians, and asking the players to help formulate an “orchestra management model” for the 21st Century.

      • Sarah

        Terry, your last sentence is spot-on. It should be the mission statement of anyone advocating for the musicians. There’s a trail to be blazed here. I just love it when people like Harvey Mackay, who have been on the board for 35 YEARS, tout their expertise when clearly their old-school model is failing. Let’s “reset” the current model!!

      • Terry

        LOL! Thanks, Sarah. Now that we have a “mission statement” (I guess), we can start applying for grants and foundation money to pay Emily for her amazing research and many, many hours of hard work!!

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