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The Minnesota Orchestra

March 13, 2014

Despite the end of the lockout, the Minnesota Orchestra is still one messed up organization. I think the offer to Osmo Vanska, a man who took a good orchestra and made it great and who, through his interaction with the audience during some performances, actually made me feel engaged with the orchestra, and basically asking him to come back and lead a few programs as guest conductor so they can (apparently) use his name to sell tickets, while allowing the man zero creative control over the orchestra and its direction, is not only a slap in the face to the conductor, but to patrons and supporters as well. How insulting or out of touch are the people who make these decisions?

If the 16-month lockout wasn’t bad enough, this is just more proof that the orchestra’s board – and CEO – have no idea what they’re doing and do not operate with the best interests of the orchestra, or the community, in mind and they all need to step down. I’m still hopeful that the world-class orchestra we once had, as well as the music director who helped make that happen, will both return soon. And while I’m wishing for returns, I’ll add Assistant Concertmaster Stephanie Arado who, sadly, resigned from the orchestra last fall to go teach violin at a school in Michigan to my list. As much as I went to hear the orchestra for the music, I also sort of secretly went to watch Ms. Arado play because she was also so into the music. It’s one thing to go to a concert and close your eyes and relax and let the music wash over you; there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s really great, but it’s also fun to watch a musician who is so into the music that it not only flows from her fingers but from her entire body. 

To the chairman of the Minnesota Orchestra board, Gordon Sprenger, I have just three words: Bring Osmo back.

Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra website: http://www.minnesotaorchestramusicians.org/

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