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Ongoing Orchestra Lockout Could Affect Music Across The World

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – You may think the ongoing orchestra lock-out is a Minnesota thing.

But musicians are saying what happens here could affect music across the world, as the ongoing musicians vs. the orchestra dispute got trickier today.

A financial review came down and orchestra administrators said it proves they’ve been financially responsible.

The musicians said it’s not a thorough enough analysis and they dismiss the findings saying they still want more money, as they are some of the country’s most elite.

Kevin Wilkins said he started playing when he was six — he plays percussion.

He said he and his peers deserve to make around $100,000 a season. Management said they need to cut salary to maintain revenue.

“The best players are obviously going to go to the best paying jobs and this orchestra is made up of some of the best players in the world,” Wilkins said.

“This has the potential to impact everyone in the classical music world,” season ticket holder Ken Hubur said.

Hubur is part of a neutral group “Orchestra Excellence”, who fill the other side of the room when the music plays.

He said he believes what’s happening here is undermining orchestras everywhere. And because a top program has gone nearly a year without playing, he thinks more patrons should ask for compromise.

“Get together, somehow figure out how to talk,” he said.

Both sides agree that the music needs to begin again. It just comes down to numbers. Management said they are ready again to sit down with musicians again.

The next deadline is Sept. 9, and the season is supposed to start in one month.

Statement of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra
“One of the world’s most highly-regarded mediators, Senator George Mitchell, made a truly independent financial and artistic analysis of management’s plan and the Musicians’ view. He made a studied, reasonable, and forward-looking independent proposal that the Musicians accepted and management rejected. We encourage management to reconsider and accept the mediator’s proposal, which includes a requirement for Musicians to submit a financial counter proposal within 72 hours.”

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