Minnesota slashes players and staff pay

Minnesota slashes players and staff pay


norman lebrecht

June 18, 2020

Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra have agreed to a 20 percent pay cut to help the organisation weather its crisis.

Music director Osmo Vänskä and President/ CEO Michelle Miller Burns will each come down by 30 percent. Other staffers take 20 percent.


  • IntBaritone says:


  • The View from America says:

    Disappointing news, but this cannot come as a surprise to anyone.

  • Bill says:

    Not slashing players, but player pay.

    • V. Lind says:

      It’s happening n all sorts of industries. It can hardly be surprising it is happening in the arts.

    • Old Man in the Midwest says:

      That’s one way to reduce payroll.

      I’m sure the Minneapolis Police Department could help out.

  • Freddynyc says:

    Just kicking the can down the road unfortunately….

  • I applaud everyone for making this difficult decision. It is practical and the generous offer by the music director and executive director makes it even more meaningful. This organization realizes that in order to protect the future, you must sacrifice during the present.

    • Rustier Spoon says:

      Well said, Leonard.

    • Fiddlist says:

      Here here!

    • Francis says:

      Sacrifice is important. How much of your net worth have you given back so that musicians can survive? 10% would be a good start considering how astronomical conductor’s fees and salaries are. A conductor must feel pretty bad inside knowing that they will make in just a few concerts what your average orchestral musician makes annually.

  • Much deserved! says:

    Much deserved for the horrendous anti-police actions last week. May the Minnesota Orchestra go from weakness to weakness.

    • Professional Musician says:

      How can you possibly blame the Minnesota Orchestra for what happened to George Floyd? or any subsequent anti-police protests?
      Weakness to weakness?
      YOU are the morally weak one! Shame, shame.

      • Bruce says:

        Maybe by “horrendous anti-police actions last week,” the troll means the decision not to use the police dept. as security at their concerts any more? Because that was super, duper horrendous.


      • Jayden Simmons says:

        You don’t live in Minnesota.

        You don’t live in a black neighborhood.

        You don’t keep the door to your flat unlocked or your possessions just lying about round town.

        You don’t leave your wallet or purse sat out somewhere relying on hope nobody takes it.

        You are however, paying to fund the government and police through any taxes you pay. THINK ABOUT IT!

    • mikhado says:

      Hi, I am an orchestral musician who has been furloughed and need to make extra cash, can you tell me if trolling pays well?

  • michael says:

    Unfortunately, with no ticket revenue coming in now or for the foreseeable future, this is something that had to happen. This will also be the case for most, if not all, of the other music institutions shortly, if it hasn’t already. I hope they find a way to weather this.

  • fflambeau says:

    Osmo is a lion. I think he goes to the Concertgebouw.

  • Fiddlist says:

    That’s wise.

  • Rioto C. says:

    Times like these prove that we need to start shutting down orchestras as the demand simply is not there. It would be best to keep a handful of orchestras going in the world. This would elevate standards significantly as it would be incredibly difficult to win a position. Anyone caught playing on “cruise control” wouldn’t last very long.

    • DD says:

      Rethink this. Orchestra, the music, the dedication, are national treasures. They should be supported in anyway possible. Preferably by the audience.