Minnesota Orchestra board meeting to consider leadership future

The Minnesota Orchestra board meets Friday and, in the wake of its recently-ended 16-month lockout, is expected to consider the future of its leadership.

The board appears divided on how it will deal with former Music Director Osmo Vänskä, who resigned during the lockout, and President and CEO Michael Henson, says Graydon Royce in the Star Tribune.

Says Royce’s story:

New board chairman Gordon Sprenger has praised Henson, while Vänskä has said that for the orchestra to heal, Henson should depart.

Musicians, who accepted a 15 percent pay cut in a new collective-bargaining agreement last month, have called for Henson’s ouster and Vänskä’s return.

The story says there is pressure for the board to resolve the issue before the orchestra’s March 27-29 performances of the Sibelius Symphonies No. 1 and 4.

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Comments (4)

  1. Submitted by David Anger on 03/01/2014 - 09:03 am.


    Board leadership needs to say: sorry. Apologize to musicians, who were denied their livelihood and profession by the Henson-inposed lockout; Apologize to patrons, who were denied access to one of the city’s best cultural icons because of the Henson-inposed lockout; Apologize to the downtown community of restaurants, who lost significant revenue during Henson’s power play. It seems so obvious from the outside what needs to happen.

  2. Submitted by george jaquith on 03/01/2014 - 07:37 pm.

    ORCHESTRA Governance, Vanska and Henson

    To restore the artistic vision and mission of the once great MINNESOTA ORCHESTRA we must immediately move to respect the wishes of the musicians who gave a vote of no confidence to Mr. Henson and from every past music director who feels that we need a new CEO in the administrative leadership. An orchestra runs on musicans, not administrators.

    Gina Hunter in her excellent post in Eyes on Life quoted the late Kenneth Dayton: “As a director of the Minnesota Orchestral Association, I came to the conclusion that the only role of a trustee of an orchestra is the care and feeding of the music director. By that I mean everything the board does is done to enhance and support the vision and mission of the music director.”

    Mr. Sprenger, is it not clear what must be done. I fear a serious backlash if the will of the people is not heeded in recalling Vanska, releasing Henson. Are there other alternatives without demoralizing both musicians and audience? Mr. Henson, do the right thing and resign.

  3. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 03/02/2014 - 06:58 am.

    Kenneth Dayton

    The problem is that there are fewer Kenneth Dayton’s in the world who are willing to write checks to be used for the care and feeding of music directors.

  4. Submitted by Ben Munroe on 03/02/2014 - 05:43 pm.

    Corporate profits

    With corporate profits at an all-time high, it doesn’t seem like there are fewer people with the wealth of Kenneth Dayton. Where is all the wealth going?

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