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Jon Butler

Minneapolis, Minnesota
Commenter for
2 years 8 weeks

Recent Comments

The Frasers are the kinds of people who make one proud to be a Minnesotan and, yes, a liberal. They emphasized improvement and opportunity for everyone, and we have a better state and city because they cared.

Posted on 04/25/14 at 03:07 pm in response to As its people prosper, the Minnesota town of Hector hollows out

Steve Neuman's Hector reference point is 1989. Mine would be Hector High school class of 1958. Not much difference in those years. If so, this places the drop squarely in the '90s or early '00s.

A whole culture gone in less than two decades. But then, the Sat night summer band concerts with all of us stuffed into the circular portable band gazebo on Main Street next to Johnson Hardware were gone by the '60s, a quiet preface to the future.

The quality of Michael Anthony's article only deepens the realization of what has been lost.

Fate handed the Minnesota Orchestra an opportunity that is so rare it scarcely even comes to ensembles already at the top of the heap. Perhaps it paralleled the New York Philharmonic's acquisition of Leonard Bernstein at a critical point in its history. No matter the right analogy, it hardly ever happens. Even better, Vanska and the musicians actually came through in ways that also seldom...

Posted on 09/19/13 at 12:06 pm in response to Musicians: Osmo Vänskä’s continued leadership is vital

The situation with the Minnesota Orchestra seems verging on artistic tragedy. But can I just disagree with one judgment made by Mr. Foley, namely that the "in the postwar era, it [the orchestra] didn't quite measure up to its potential?"

That's not my memory of the years with Antal Dorati. He was a magnetic conductor who had the Minneapolis Symphony playing beautifully and imaginatively, and also making spectacularly successful LPs with Mercury that put the Mpls Sym AND the Mercury...

Posted on 08/23/13 at 07:32 pm in response to Board's obligation is to protect and nurture the Minnesota Orchestra

Bravo to Dr. Carter. Something has gone terribly wrong with the Board and Management, the wrong originating in the duplicitous fund-raising effort to improve the exterior of Orchestra Hall without telling donors and patrons that, in fact, the Orchestra had serious yearly budget problems.

As Dr. Carter was listening to Dorati LPs in England, I got my parents to drive me 90 miles from rural Minnesota to hear Eva Knardahl play, what, the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 (?) at a Sunday...

The sound barrier MNDOT constructed two years ago on the south side of I-94 to shield homes between the highway and the Mississippi River from freeway sound dramatically INCREASED freeway noise in Prospect Park to the north by bouncing the traffic sound across the freeway and into Prospect Park, which MNDOT has recently acknowledged. (The barrier did decrease noise for residents between the freeway and the Mississippi River.)

The Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association...

So much of the story by Doug Grow is so depressing. Even if one might be able to read Michael Henson's note to the Orchestra differently if we had the whole note, the simple facts are that the dispute isn't settled and that the Board and musicians stand at the precipice of losing the entire season.

But even more, I'm surprised that so little is said about another potential loss — Vanska. Almost precisely because he seemed so full of energy at the "Grammy Concert" — has anyone heard...

Jon Eisele's statement echoes that of the MN Orchestra Board president and several Board members in the Mpls Star-Tribune: that the Board has planned superbly and is only awaiting a "counterproposal" from the musicians.

Something has gone terribly wrong with the Orchestra Board and its president: the statements simply do not acknowledge that millions were raised for the renovation of Orchestra Hall without revealing to donors and patrons that the Board's well laid plans also would...