Reporting Jamie Yuccas
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s day two of a lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra and while negotiations continue, they’re not allowed to perform.
However, the musicians made an announcement Tuesday afternoon about fall concerts cancelled by management — they say they want to play.
With the help of donors, fans and taking money out of their own pocket, musicians plan to hold a concert or series of concerts once they can secure a location.
“We need to keep the music going,” says 25-year cellist with the Minnesota Orchestra, Tony Ross.
The musicians announced they want to honor Minnesota Orchestral Association tickets for the season opening concerts.
“We plan to present an opening night concert of our own and we plan to honor as many purchased tickets as possible for these events,” Ross said.
The situation is fluid.
The musicians hope to use the Minneapolis Convention Center, where orchestra management just recently canceled concerts.
They’re working first to secure opening night on Oct. 19 and see if more dates could be added.
“We are saddened by these cancellations and our donors and patrons are sad about it, so we’re trying to do something about it,” Ross said.
If the Convention Center doesn’t work, the musicians are looking at other, smaller venues like Ted Mann Concert Hall at the University of Minnesota.
Basically, what this announcement does, is allow ticket holders a two-for-one type option. Concert dates and locations will be announced at a later date.
The musicians say this should not impact their negotiations with management.
Michael Henson, the president and CEO to the Minnesota Orchestra, said the orchestra has “great respect” for the abilities of the musicians.
“We clearly have a world class orchestra,” he said. “At the same time, we are facing some very serious financial challenges that we need to resolve. Not just in the short term but in the long term for the benefit of this wonderful community.”
He said the orchestra’s management has been very transparent about its challenges.
“We always knew, come this period in time, we’d have to reset our salaries in order to make this company sustainable and artistically viable,” said.
The orchestra said they will give ticket holders either a full refund or they can bank the ticket and go to another concert when the players are back to work.