Roundup of Orchestra News

Well, not much news on the orchestra front, considering how close to orchestral Armageddon and the cancellation of the Minnesota Orchestra’s 2013-14 season we are. There was a funny rumor going around that former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell had gotten involved with –

I’m sorry.


That’s true?

They’re bringing in the man who made peace in Northern Ireland to solve an orchestral labor dispute?


You’ve got to be kidding me

It appears negotiations are in the early stages. It also appears they may well amount to nothing. Among the notably quiet parties are the MOA, the musicians, and George Mitchell. Until we hear from them in any official capacity, it is impossible to read tea leaves with any authority. I prefer to err on the side of discretion and pessimism, so that’s all you’re hearing from me on the subject for now. Feel free to go to other blogs for your negotiation titillation. Be sure to take note of any ellipses, and take your time wondering what may or may not have been cut out.

Something more concrete and positive is the fact that Aspen Music Festival CEO Alan Fletcher is coming to Ground Zero of the Orchestral Cluster**** to help us “explore our community’s role in supporting the Minnesota Orchestra.” Alan Fletcher, of course, gave the Aspen Commencement Speech Heard Round The World (or the Internet, anyway). If you haven’t read it already, you should. Fletcher quite openly disagrees with the board of the Minnesota Orchestra…and with maybe a few audience members, too. The lovely folks over at Orchestrate Excellence are sponsoring the forum, which is going to take place the evening of August 20 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Should be quite the night.

I know Michael Henson will be super excited to come to this. Since the MOA reads my blog, I wanted to be sure to pass along a map, so Mr. Henson doesn’t have to spend any of his valuable time looking up how to find the venue…



  • Cross S 12th Street

Wow! Minneapolis certainly is easy to get around!

You can even see it from the Hall webcam!

web cam

Head for the highlighted part

So no excuse for everyone not to be there, then. Good.

Seriously, I will be so moved and awed if there is any board presence whatsoever. Make me eat my words and look like a total biiiatch, board. Come to this. Why not? At some point patrons and board will have to start working together. Better late than never, right?

I also want to congratulate the Young Musicians of Minnesota, who apparently gave two amazing concerts this weekend. (I was sick and couldn’t be there except in spirit.) I wonder what they’ll get up to next… Wouldn’t underestimate them if I was the MOA… They’re definitely enterprising intelligent talented kids that you should want on your side.

If any of this is news to you, you haven’t been checking my Facebook page. I’ve found that recent developments are just easier to cover in Facebook form. For instance, I’ve posted twenty times on Facebook since my last blog entry. Just so you know.

Anyway. That’s about all the roundup I feel up to today. I propose a toast: to progress. And if the progress falls apart…well, then, we’ll still have the alcohol from the toast, and that’s not nothing.


Filed under Labor Disputes, Minnesota Orchestra

3 responses to “Roundup of Orchestra News

  1. Sarah

    Did Peavey Plaza get moved?

    • That’s an interesting point, because the Plaza was actually recently listed on the Register of Historic Places. As best I understand it (and someone please correct me if I’m wrong), the MOA and City of Minneapolis were gunning for the construction of a new plaza. The new design is awful. Right now its future is tied up in red tape.

      I like Peavey Plaza. I know lots of people will disagree with me on that one, but it’s a fabulous example of brutalism. It needs a restoration, not a wholesale replacement, and ESPECIALLY not a wholesale replacement with the hideous design that’s been proposed.

      Just wanted to make my feelings known on that. Since the MOA reads our comments. And I know they’ll be as passionately interested in my opinions on historic landscape architecture as they are in my opinions on orchestra management. ;D

  2. JKM

    The whole thing, that beehive or federal prison added on the west side, the bland facade on 11th, as well as the architecture of the “new” plaza are without any charm, totally ugly. We were allowed comments before construction began. Needless to say, they were ignored, along with all subseuent comments sent to the Orchestra Association and its public relations official, Gwen Pappas. More in the “let them eat cake” manner of Henson and the Board of the MOA.

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