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Minnesota Orchestra Cancels Concerts Through December

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Officials with the Minnesota Orchestra announced Thursday that concerts through the rest of the year have been canceled due to the lockout with its musicians.

Those concerts range from Nov. 30 to Dec. 23 and amount to six shows. They include Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto, Brandenburg Concertos, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, Tonic Sol-Fa, Handel's Messiah and The African Children's Choir.

Six other concerts have already been canceled, and four of those have been rescheduled for late next year.

Contract talks between the Minnesota Orchestra and its musicians, who are members of the Twin Cities Musicians' Union, started back in April. The Minnesota Orchestra offered the musicians a package of an $89,000 annual salary and $30,000 in benefits per musician. It also included 10 weeks of paid vacation and up to 26 weeks of sick leave.

The musicians have yet to present a formal offer, but have asked for the option of binding arbitration, a joint-independent financial analysis or moving to a pay and play agreement. The Minnesota Orchestra board has turned down arbitration and the independent analysis.

Last year, the orchestra posted a $2.9 million deficit, the largest in the organization's history. The previous contract expired Oct. 1.

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