|The Minnesota Orchestra onstage at Orchestra Hall in 2012|
I'm proud of the musicians. They stood firm, united, and tall, taking the high road in the sometimes terrible media circus that MOA management tried to create at times. They continued to provide artistically excellent concerts for the community, and education concerts for schools. I suspect they learned a great deal about what goes into putting on a symphony orchestra concert. I have not heard specifics about the settlement agreement beyond salary figures. It is my hope that ALL the work rules remain in the master agreement, and ALL the management nonsense that tried to control artistic decisions was removed.
With this settlement, we can look forward to MN Orchestra concerts returning to Orchestra Hall. Will Osmo Vanska return? Will the musicians who left return? How will management repair the damage they have wrought over the last 16 months? How will trust be re-earned and re-built? I understand that Chairman Jon Campbell will step down from his position, but he'll remain as Immediate Past Chairman (yes, this is an executive board position), and if his chosen successor, Nancy Lindahl, is elected to take the chairmanship, I doubt anything will change.
The governance structure of the Minnesota Orchestral Association needs to change. The Board needs to be accountable to someone other than itself, and membership of the Board needs to no longer be dependent on how much money an individual contributes (min. $10K). I plan to continue working for governance reform. The MOA needs fewer bankers (none, actually) and more people who understand the artistic side of things and respects it, as well as lovers of classical music and people who have experience and/or understanding of non-profit arts organization governance (NOT management).
The one piece of news that profoundly disappointed me was that Michael Henson would remain as President and CEO. Mr. Henson is the guy who created a truly unfriendly work environment for the musicians. In my humble opinion, he has disturbing control issues. I personally believe that Osmo Vanska may not be willing to return until Mr. Henson has tendered his resignation (and returned at least half of his 2011 salary and bonuses).
I will continue to write about reforming the governance structure of this organization, and I'm in the process of launching research into the legislative action that made it possible for the MOA to eliminate its membership in 1990-91 and create a closed Board of Directors accountable to no one but themselves.