Orchestra Hall Offers 1st Look at Renovations
While the Minnesota Orchestra is in the midst of a $110 million fundraising project, its musicians are locked out.
Progress is underway at Orchestra Hall where $50 million in renovations include a new lobby, new seats inside the hall and upgrades to musician locker rooms. The Orchestra says $60 million will to go musician salaries and artistic projects like touring and recording.
Still, musicians and management have been unable to agree on a new contract. The union rejected a proposal which would result in cuts to base pay. Concerts have been cancelled through Nov. 25.
"The revenue has been going down on a straight line for years and years and years. And this is the first time the orchestra has said, we cannot kick the can down the road anymore, we have got to face this financial crisis," said Doug Kelley, Vice Chair of the Labor Negotiating Committee for the Minnesota Orchestra.
Fundraising for the new campaign began in 2005, the renovation component was added in 2007. Orchestra management says money raised for the hall, must be used in that manner.
Ellen Smith plays French Horn for the Orchestra and is facing a more than $50,000 salary drop.
"We really think the most important thing is the music and we want to get back to making it with each other. We don't want everyone to be going to other orchestras because they can," said Ellen Smith, who plays French Horn for the Minnesota Orchestra.
A handful of musicians have already vowed to leave the Minnesota Orchestra.
On Thursday, the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra will have a concert at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It begins at 7:30 p.m. Click here for more information.