Minnesota Orchestra board meets, no word on Henson, Vanska

Nate Ryan/MPR

The board of the Minnesota Orchestra met Friday for three hours without taking public action on the futures of president and CEO Michael Henson and former Music Director Osmo Vanska.

Many orchestra patrons and musicians want Vanska, who resigned during the lockout, rehired, saying he’s the best person to rebuild the orchestra. Vanska also has publicly stated he believes Henson must go for management and the musicians to heal after the bitter 16-month lockout, that ended in January.

Henson has many supporters on the board for his handling of the labor dispute.

In a  statement released after the meeting, board chair Gordon Sprenger said, “We held a productive board meeting today and the board came to very strong agreement on leadership and a positive direction for the organization. However, we have more work to do before we are able to make a detailed public statement.  We will share further news as soon as we are able.”

A representative of the musicians said they eagerly await details from the board.

Sprenger, the former president and CEO of Allina Health, was chosen as the orchestra’s board chairman last month. Sprenger said his first job was to rebuild trust between the orchestra’s board, musicians, administration and audience.

Vanska is scheduled to conduct the Minnesota Orchestra March 27-29 in performances of Sibelius Symphony No. 4 and Symphony No. 1.   Vanska and the Minnesota Orchestra’s performance of those same works won a Grammy this year.

  • akadams

    No compelling reason to keep Henson – at least not in the minds of the people that actually support the Minnesota Orchestra. Of those that control the purse strings, well, who knows what goes on? They keep things as opaque and insular as possible. Thank goodness for the ones on the board that actually ended the lockout.

  • Boardis Outuv-Touch

    So. It has been nearly one week since the board met…
    And there has been no action, no statement, no news. Where exactly is the leadership? Is the MOA hoping that the fans of the orchestra will lose interest?
    Opaque decision-making won’t get you everything you want.