In Tuesday’s (3/5) St. Paul Pioneer Press (Minnesota), Ross Raihala reports, “Contract negotiations are continuing, but the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra’s management has canceled concerts through April 21. The SPCO musicians rejected management’s latest ‘play and talk’ offer, which would have resumed the concert season while negotiations continued. However, in a statement issued Tuesday, March 5, SPCO president Dobson West held out hope that the lockout, which began Oct. 21, may be coming to an end soon. ‘We have been pleased to have begun a more intense negotiations schedule recently, including three days of meetings last week and multiple meetings scheduled again this week,’ West said. ‘We sincerely regret the impact of these cancellations, and we hope that the ongoing discussions we are engaged in will lead to an agreement soon so that we can resume our season.’ The musicians responded with a statement expressing disappointment in the cancellations and concern about the long-term artistic health of the orchestra. ‘We will continue to lose great musicians to other orchestras, and we’ll be unable to attract the top talent our audiences have come to expect and deserve,’ said Carol Mason Smith, chair of the musician’s negotiating committee.”

Posted March 6, 2013