Locked-out musicians announce 10-concert season with Bell and Perlman

Locked-out musicians announce 10-concert season with Bell and Perlman


norman lebrecht

December 13, 2013

Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra, locked out for 14 months, have taken their future in hand by announcing an independent concert season. It includes a performance of two Sibelius symphonies with ex-MOA music director Osmo Vänskä, Itzhak Perlman playing the Beethoven concerto and Joshua Bell the Lalo Symphonie espagnole. Who needs the MOA?

Full season booking now online here.



  • Yeah! Now that’s what I’m talking about. In your face, MOA!

  • Michael B. says:

    Unfortunately, the Minnesota Orchestra musicians are fighting an impossible battle to preserve the status quo, a status quo that is no longer economically viable in most American cities. Part of that status quo is a repertoire that is largely slanted to the safe, the ultra-familiar, and the comfy (the Greenstein work excepted, of course), and which is also loaded with so-called “superstar” performers mailing in performances of the usual warhorses. Itzchak Perlman hasn’t added a new piece to his repertoire in something like 30 years, and Joshua Bell has spent most of the last dozen years or so recording what is basically salon slop. If these orchestras are to survive at all, they will have to get rid of the glitz and glamor and begin to engage with other aspects of culture as well as the music of our time in order to appeal to the intelligent minority of people who are involved with the other aspects of culture and that actually engage with ideas. This will require far more flexibility on the part of the musicians, including on work rules, and salaries may well have to go down, perhaps sharply, in the short term. Yes, management has blundered horribly on this in Minnesota, but their incompetence cannot be allowed to conceal the real crisis facing most American orchestras, and a radical transformation will be required if they are going to survive in a culture dominated by such phenomena as Kanye West, Lindsay Lohan, and the far too many Kardashians.

    • Alvarus says:

      “but their incompetence cannot be allowed to conceal the real crisis facing most American orchestras,” — This is the crux of the matter, isn’t it? The orchestra world still awaits its Thomas Hoving.

  • Russell Platt says:

    Fantastic news.

  • Lauren says:

    This is the future of the classical arts. Being tied to elitist, corrupt systems damages the art, the artist, and audience a like. Good for Bell and Perlman for supporting the musicians here. The audience needs to do its bit and support the concerts.

    Up The Bracket to MOA!

  • The musicians need to elect a board – with player representation – and start going after the donor base.

  • BobM says:

    At the above link there is a donation button. I would encourage all those who sympathize with the orchestra’s plight to at least send a token donation. I am sure every sign of support will be appreciated.

    As a former resident of Minneapolis and subscriber to the symphony my small donation serves both as a token of support and a thank you for fond memories.

  • Baron Z says:

    Michael B., you are either part of the problem or the solution, and you are the problem.

  • Richard Todd says:

    I first heard of the imminent demise of classical music from a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1956 when I was twelve years old. It’s tragic what’s happening in Minnesota and some other places, but CM is still here. Regarding Lauren’s remark about elitist, corrupt systems, hasn’t most art been tied to that since forever?