In Friday’s (5/3) Star-Tribune (Minneapolis), Graydon Royce writes, “Osmo Vänskä says he will resign as music director of the Minnesota Orchestra if the ensemble loses a prestigious engagement at New York’s Carnegie Hall because of the current musician lockout. In a letter to board chairman Jon Campbell and chief executive Michael Henson, Vänskä said he believes the orchestra needs to be playing by late May or, at the very latest, early September to achieve the proficiency needed for the Carnegie appearance [in November]—which he called one of the most significant goals of his tenure. … His departure would be a significant blow to the orchestra’s prestige. Since arriving in 2003, he has catapulted a unit that was regarded as very good into a world-class ensemble, with two Grammy nominations and high-profile European tours. Board chairman Campbell suggested in an interview Thursday that Vänskä should have directed his letter to the musicians instead of the board. ‘They are the ones who are holding up the progress right now,’ he said. … Last Friday the musicians’ negotiating team told the board that they will not return to the bargaining table unless the lockout is lifted. … Campbell said that when Vänskä signed a contract extension in 2009, he was given a heads-up that the business model was changing—in short, contract talks would be tough.”

Posted May 3, 2013