. Interchanging Idioms: January 2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

Yo-Yo Ma Applauds Oscar Nomination of Morgan Neville’s Documentary 20 Feet from Stardom

Boston, MA – Jan. 16, 2013 – Delighted to hear of the Oscar nomination of Morgan Neville’s documentary 20 Feet from Stardom, world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma said: “What I love most about 20 Feet from Stardom is how deeply Morgan Neville examined the preconditions of creativity. He showed us how the giants stand on the shoulders of the artists whose stories he told."

Morgan Neville is currently directing The Sound of Silk, a documentary about the musicians in the Silk Road Ensemble. Brought together by the Silk Road Project, which was founded in 1998 under the artistic direction of Ma, the Ensemble has featured members from more than 20 countries, performed in 119 cities in 30 countries, generated more than 80 new works, recorded 60 pieces of music, and just released its fifth CD, A Playlist Without Borders.

The Silk Road Ensemble: Ascending Bird

For further information about The Sound of Silk, which is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Pershing Square Foundation and other contributors, please visit the Silk Road Project at (www.silkroadproject.org).

Minnesota Orchestra Returns with Two Weeks of Homecoming Concerts

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (January 17, 2014)—The Minnesota Orchestra today announced plans for two weeks of homecoming concerts February 7 through 15, offering audiences the first chance to hear the ensemble perform in the renovated Orchestra Hall. The Orchestra’s return begins February 7 and 8 with a pair of historic concerts led by the ensemble’s eminent Conductor Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, highlighted by Beethoven’s heroic Third Symphony and Skrowaczewski’s own powerful orchestration of Bach’s D-minor Toccata and Fugue—the work that opened the first concert at Orchestra Hall in 1974. French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier continues the musical homecoming February 14 and 15 with a set of Valentine’s weekend concerts that includes an all-British program of Holst’s popular The Planets and Elgar’s Cello Concerto, the latter featuring virtuoso soloist Steven Isserlis.

All concerts begin at 8 p.m., and all are preceded by a free public open house at Orchestra Hall, with doors opening at 4 p.m. Members of the community are invited to become acquainted with the renovated facility, while subscribers may survey seat locations and renew series tickets. No tickets or reservations are required to attend the open house.

“We’re pleased to bring the music back to our audiences at Orchestra Hall with our musicians onstage and a dear friend on the conductor’s podium,” says Robert Neu, the Orchestra’s vice president and general manager. “Stanislaw’s artistic relationship with the Minnesota Orchestra extends more than five decades—nearly half of our ensemble’s history—and it’s fitting for him to lead our homecoming to the Hall he helped build, reopening just as it opened 40 years ago: with his own orchestration of a Bach masterpiece.”

Added Anthony Ross, the Orchestra’s principal cellist: “We are thrilled to return to Orchestra Hall, our home, and the home for world class symphonic music in this community. Stanislaw Skrowaczewski conducting Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony will be a triumphant moment for the Minnesota Orchestra.”

The homecoming concerts, held at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis, are performed on Friday, February 7; Saturday, February 8; Friday, February 14; and Saturday, February 15, with each concert beginning at 8 p.m. and preceded by a free public open house beginning at 4 p.m. Tickets to these concerts will be available to the public online only at minnesotaorchestra.org starting at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22. Ticket holders will receive a copy of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Grammy-nominated recording of Sibelius’ Symphonies No. 1 and 4 with their order. Subscribers and donors will be contacted this weekend with a pre-public sale opportunity. For more information, visit minnesotaorchestra.org.

The four homecoming concerts are a prelude to the full 2014 Minnesota Orchestra season made possible by a recently ratified collective bargaining agreement between the Orchestra’s musicians and board of directors. Additional announcements about the season will be forthcoming later this month.

Minnesota Orchestra Homecoming


Friday, February 7, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Saturday, February 8, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra

Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, conductor

BACH/Skrowaczewski Toccata and Fugue in D minor


BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3, Eroica

Conductor Laureate Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, the Minnesota Orchestra’s music director from 1960 to 1979, welcomes the ensemble and the community back to Orchestra Hall with concerts that begin with the first music heard at the Hall’s opening in 1974—his own orchestration of J.S. Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D minor. Also on the program are the Richard Strauss tone poem Don Juan and Ludwig van Beethoven’s heroic Third Symphony.

Tickets: Available online at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22. [Subscribers and donors will be contacted this weekend with a pre-public sale opportunity.] Ticket holders will receive a copy of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Grammy-nominated recording of Sibelius’ Symphonies No. 1 and 4 with their order.

Minnesota Orchestra Homecoming


Friday, February 14, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Saturday, February 15, 2014, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall

Minnesota Orchestra

Yan Pascal Tortelier, conductor

Steven Isserlis, cello

Women of the Minnesota Chorale

ELGAR Cello Concerto

HOLST The Planets

French conductor Yan Pascal Tortelier continues the Minnesota Orchestra’s homecoming, leading a program of two British masterworks—Edward Elgar’s exquisite Cello Concerto, featuring the composer’s countryman Steven Isserlis as soloist; and Gustav Holst’s The Planets, an astrological sojourn of music ranging from warlike to jovial, with an ethereal close that includes the women of the Minnesota Chorale, the Orchestra’s principal chorus.

Tickets: Available online at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 22. [Subscribers and donors will be contacted this weekend with a pre-public sale opportunity.] Ticket holders will receive a copy of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Grammy-nominated recording of Sibelius’ Symphonies No. 1 and 4 with their order.

Tickets will be available to the public online only starting at 5 p.m. on January 22, 2014, at minnesotaorchestra.org. Tickets can be purchased online or in person at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office, International Centre, 5th floor, 920 Second Avenue South, Minneapolis (open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; offices are closed on January 20 for the Martin Luther King holiday). The Orchestra Hall Box Office will be open beginning at 4 p.m. on days of the homecoming concerts. Prices listed do not include a $5 service charge per transaction for online orders. There are no service charges for in-person transactions at the Minnesota Orchestra Administrative Office or Orchestra Hall Box Office. A non-discountable $5 facility fee is included in the price of each individual ticket. No refunds. Tickets to homecoming concerts are non-exchangeable. All sales are final.

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through
a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a
legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


MINNEAPOLIS, MN (January 14, 2014)—The Minnesota Orchestra Board of Directors and musicians, who are members of the Twin Cities Musicians’ Union (Local 30-73), today ratified a new collective bargaining agreement, effective February 1, that brings the organization’s lockout to a conclusion. The Orchestra’s first concert performances back on stage at Orchestra Hall are anticipated in early February and will be announced shortly.

“This ratified agreement reflects that both the musicians and the board made concessions on issues of importance to them, which was necessary in order to bring the organization together again,” said Board Negotiating Chair Richard Davis. “Our success now depends on our ability to move forward with positive spirit as one organization, and we are very pleased to begin this work with the musicians and to engage our audiences with music again.”

Clarinetist and musician negotiator Tim Zavadil said, “Musicians are pleased that we have come to a solution with our board, and we are ready to work with them to begin the hard work that lies ahead. We are anxious to start performing for our community at home in Orchestra Hall once again. We know that there is a great love for this Orchestra throughout the community, and we are confident that this community will, in fact, continue to support world-class music in the Twin Cities.”


The terms of the three-year contract agreement include:

A 15-percent reduction to base and overscale salaries from 2012 levels in the contract’s first year. Minimum base salaries over the life of the contract of $96,824 (year one), rising to $99,008 (year two) and $102,284 (year three).

A number of musician positions remaining vacant through the life of the contract, with an agreement to add seven members over three years, which will increase the size of the Orchestra from its current 77 members to 84. The agreed optimal size of the ensemble remains 95 members.

Musicians agreeing to pay a significantly greater portion of health insurance costs.

Revenue sharing, based on the performance of the Orchestra’s endowments. If the endowments average a 10-percent return over the three years of the contract, musicians are eligible to receive investment returns exceeding 10 percent up to a cap of 5 percent of their base salary for each year of the agreement.

Management significantly reduced the number of work rule changes it originally requested and musicians agreed to a series of innovative rule changes, designed to give the organization more flexibility in scheduling concerts and providing community outreach.

The agreed-upon changes include:

  • the ability to offer chamber music and outreach performances without additional pay
  • an increase in the number of weekend rehearsals and concerts allowed
  • the ability to offer New Year’s Eve and/or New Year’s Day concerts
  • an increase in concert length up to 2 ¼ hours when needed
  • changes in the way overtime is calculated

Mutual agreement on the organization’s classical music focus, with a guaranteed minimum of 20 weeks of classical performances each year. Quarterly meetings between the Board chair and leadership with musicians to build trust and foster open communication.
The agreement continues to rank the Minnesota Orchestra among the “Top Ten” orchestras in the nation according to pay scale, which was a key musician priority.
“Keeping our salaries in the top ten was a critical issue for us, as it allows us to attract and retain the finest musicians in the country, and continue building the tradition of excellence that has been cultivated by the community over the past 110 years,” said cellist and musician negotiator Marcia Peck.
Said Board Chair Jon Campbell, “Meeting the ‘Top Ten’ metric means the organization will need to seek bridge funding to help address financial issues in future years. Now more than ever, we will need members of our community who voiced strong support for world-class orchestral music in our state to help us achieve long-term fiscal health through increased concert attendance and financial support.”
At the Orchestra’s December Annual Meeting, the Board requested that Campbell continue to lead as Chair through the conclusion of the labor dispute. With a contract resolution reached, the Board will elect a new chair in upcoming weeks.
“With this agreement in place, we look forward to working with new board leadership to rebuild our relationship and trust within our organization and with our audiences,” said Principal Trombone and musician negotiator Doug Wright.


“Our plan is to resume concerts as soon as possible, with “homecoming” programs in early February and then the launch of our 2014 subscription season,” said Minnesota Orchestra President and CEO Michael Henson. “We are happy to begin a new chapter by welcoming our audiences and the greater community to Orchestra Hall and the musicians back to this stage.”
Details of the homecoming concerts and the 2014 subscription season will be announced soon, and Minnesota Orchestra subscribers and donors will receive advance ordering information.