Key composer leaves Minnesota Orchestra amid contract fallout

(Photo Courtesy of Minnesota Orchestra)

Aaron Jay Kernis, a Pulitzer Prize winning composer who founded and directs the Minnesota Orchestra’s Composer Institute has quit that post.

The resignation of Kernis is the latest fallout from the year-long labor dispute between Minnesota Orchestra management and musicians and comes just hours after conductor Osmo Vanska resigned from the orchestra.

In a scathing resignation letter, Kernis lamented the “dismemberment” of the orchestra and took management and musicians to task for not finding common ground.

“I have personally never seen two sides that show such unwillingness to sit down together and attempt to tackle the major challenges that confront the orchestra,” Kernis wrote. In all of this the audience of music lovers who most appreciate the orchestra’s extraordinary gifts have been forgotten and their voices disregarded.”

Read Kernis’ full resignation letter:

More information to come.

  • Ricardo

    One man’s “sense of intransigence” is another man’s stalwart courage in the face of adversity. As others have said: the truth is not always somewhere in the middle, even if it serves your purpose to say so. This CEO, management and board ruined a treasure, the musicians and fans get to pick up the pieces…all in a day’s work.
    Great job, Board!

  • Sarah

    Wow, I wonder why he is so against musicians??

    • epbarnes

      I suspect he is simply trying to be evenhanded (since in the end he is a composer who wants to have his music performed and needs support of arts administrators). In the end everybody has to accept some responsibility for this horrible travesty, but it appears to this very engaged observer that the top MOA “management” was simply out to “win” at all costs, and was never interested in any manner of dialogue, let alone genuine negotiations. Now what they do with a pretty new hall (including a lovely fireplace that reportedly cost an additional $50K to run the necessary gas lines from the street), with no sort of artistic product to present is of no relevance to me whatsoever. My guess is I will never enter that domain.