The year-long lockout of the Minnesota Orchestra continues. The dispute between the Minnesota Orchestral Association (i.e., the orchestra's management and board) and the Minnesota Orchestra (i.e., the musicians) continues. Meanwhile, the orchestra has lost its brilliant Music Director Osmo Vänskä who has resigned his position, the only option left him at this point. Finally, a voice of sanity midst the lunacy.
The musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra are forgetting several important things: 1) They make the music. 2) They create the experience. 3) What matters to the people is, simply put, the musical experience. This dispute has hit the culture-rich community of the Twin Cities hard because the art form itself has been lost in the blame game. The musicians must rise above this and remember that the power to make history is in their hands, literally and figuratively. Here’s how the musicians make history: Follow Maestro Vänskä’s lead and resign from the Minnesota Orchestral Association. Immediately announce the creation of the Minnesota Symphony, a self-governing orchestra modeled on the Vienna Philharmonic. Find a charitable organization to give temporary use of its tax status (while you establish a new nonprofit) so you can receive donations from foundations and corporations and from your audience. Govern yourselves, and assign responsibilities to yourselves. Make history by setting an example for other orchestras to follow, and end the labor-management paradigm that leads to these kinds of disputes.Do we detect an echo in this? Why, yes; yes we do. Indeed we do.