In the middle of a musical labor dispute

You probably won’t be seeing much of the man who is, for many people, the public face of the Minnesota Orchestra. The Orchestra has locked out its musicians, seeking pay cuts in a new contract.

Conductor Osmo Vänskä released a statement as the old contract ended that appeared designed to note he’s staying out of the fray. “These are difficult times, but I believe our Board and our musicians will find the right solution to take good care of this great orchestra,” said Vänskä.

That’s the way it has to be, APM’s Performance Today made clear today in an interview with conductor Leonard Slatkin, who has been the music director of two orchestras involved in labor strikes and/or lockout

“You get out of town and you don’t say a word,” he told Performance Today producer Suzanne Schaffer about his experiences in St. Louis and Detroit.

“The music director is hired by the board of directors,” he said. “The same people who hire you can easily dismiss you. Most likely, the music director is more in sympathy with them (the musicians), but that would get the board really upset.”

“At the end, all I could do was stand in front of the musicians and say, ‘Welcome home. Let’s make music.’”

Here’s the full interview…

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