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Minnesota Orchestra Announces New Contract Agreement With Musicians

The musicians' previous CBA ran through August 2020 and was subsequently extended by two years in September 2020. 

Minnesota Orchestra Announces New Contract Agreement With Musicians

The Minnesota Orchestra's governing body and its musicians have approved a new four-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA), effective immediately and extending through August 31, 2026. The agreement was separately ratified by both the Board of Directors and the musicians, who are members of the Twin Cities Musicians' Union (Local 30-73). The musicians' previous CBA ran through August 2020 and was subsequently extended by two years in September 2020.

"These were collegial and productive negotiations," said Minnesota Orchestra Board Chair Joseph T. Green. "The Orchestra made its way through the deepest challenges of the pandemic with a flexible, creative and collaborative approach, and the same spirit prevailed in these negotiations. We appreciate the solid partnership we have enjoyed with our musicians as we carefully manage the Orchestra's finances at the same time as we maintain our commitment to the highest levels of musical artistry."

The terms of the agreement call for:

  • Increases in musicians' minimum weekly salary, including a 2.5% increase in the 2022-23 season; a 2.76% increase in 2023-24; a 3% increase in 2024-25; and 3% in the final season of the contract, 2025-26;

  • Additional media payments to be embedded in the weekly minimum salary which allows the organization significant flexibility in pursuing radio and television broadcasts, livestreams, and other media activities;

  • Updated hiring practices designed to further promote consistency and transparency across the process, guided by National Alliance for Audition Support recommendations.

Timothy Zavadil, Musicians' Negotiating Committee Chair and a clarinetist and bass clarinetist, said, "The musicians are very pleased with this agreement that allows the Minnesota Orchestra to continue serving the community at the highest artistic level. In partnership with our board and management, we look forward to stewarding the Orchestra into a new era with Maestro Thomas Søndergård."

"This four-year agreement gives the organization stability as we move beyond the pandemic and into the tenure of our incoming music director," said President and CEO Michelle Miller Burns. "In these negotiations, we were able to sit down with musicians and thoughtfully raise and resolve questions together as part of a healthy, respectful process. Among musicians, staff and board, there is a great desire to work together for the common good of the Orchestra."

In July, the Orchestra announced that Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård would become the Orchestra's 11th music director, succeeding Osmo Vänskä. After serving for a year as music director designate, Søndergård will officially begin his new role in September 2023.

The Orchestra's 2022-23 season begins tomorrow, Friday, September 23, with a performance of Wynton Marsalis' large-scale Swing Symphony that features the combined forces of the Minnesota Orchestra and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Marsalis, led by conductor William Eddins.

President of the Twin Cities Musicians Union Brad Eggen commented, "This agreement demonstrates the exceptional commitment of all involved to continue to present inspiring music to Minnesota, the nation and the world. It advances the shared goal of high-quality performance by the well-recognized music talent drawn to this community and this historic organization. A spirit of cooperation by these gifted musicians, their insightful management team, the supportive Board, and their proud Musicians Union won the day." Minnesota Orchestra Announces New Contract Agreement With Musicians


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