The Minnesota Orchestra “will return to [Chicago’s] Orchestra Hall on Sunday afternoon for the first time in more than 50 years,” writes John von Rhein in Wednesday’s (1/24) Chicago Tribune. “The ensemble seemed to be on the verge of dissolution in October 2012, when the orchestra’s governing body locked out the orchestra musicians and eventually canceled the entire season … The orchestra lost 30 to 40 percent of its subscriber base, according to Kevin Smith, its current president and chief executive…. ‘What came out strongly … was that the public wanted the quality, legacy, personality and character of the orchestra to continue,’ said Smith…. A new spirit of mutual trust has emerged since the orchestra began transitioning between what Smith calls its ‘near-death experience’ to its present financial and artistic stability…. At its annual meeting in November, the Minnesota Orchestral Association reported a balanced budget for the third year in a row, with strong gains in ticket sales, contributed income and size of contributor base, on an operating budget of $32.6 million.” Said Principal Trombone Doug Wright, “The transformation that has happened in this organization has been nothing short of miraculous. The orchestra is playing with a renewed passion.”

Posted January 25, 2018