Minnesota’s quiet winter may become a silent spring if labor disputes continue for two of the state’s premier orchestras.teams at both the Minnesota Orchestra and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra have locked out musicians after the parties failed to agree on new contracts.
The Minnesota Orchestra has been locked out since Oct. 1, even as renovations to the downtown Minneapolis Orchestra Hall continue. Musicians rejected orchestra management’s proposal to cut base pay by 32%.
The dispute in St. Paul, which also began in October, seems closer to resolution. St. Paul Chamber Orchestra players agreed to cut the ensemble from 34 to 28 members. But talks are stuck on artistic control issues. Musicians want more say on future hiring decisions. Meanwhile, concerts have been cancelled at least through March 23.