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Minnesota Orchestra Talks Break Off Again

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Another attempt to break the long impasse in the Minnesota Orchestra lockout has failed.

Both sides said Friday that back-channel talks between two board members and two musicians broke off Monday after two meetings because they were unable to agree on how to move forward.

Doug Kelly, one of the management negotiators, said his side floated the idea of a reconciliation task force to discuss a vision for the future of the organization.

But one of the musicians, Tom Zavadil, said management just kept going back to talking points.

"It was very apparent from our perspective that they were not going anywhere," Zavadil said. "We know there are some board members who are ready to try to solve this in a different way, and we hope they can become empowered to start future discussions."

The musicians have been locked out for more than 13 months. Managers say they need substantial cost reductions from the musicians' contract to make the orchestra financially viable. Musicians say lower wages will send talented players elsewhere.

No other talks are scheduled. The musicians will continue to perform their self-produced concerts, including this coming Thursday and Friday with former Minnesota Orchestra music director Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and Dec. 14-15 with former music director Eiji Oue. Zavadil said there will be more to come.

About the only issue they agree on is the desire for the return of Osmo Vanska, who resigned as music director six weeks ago as a result of the dispute.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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