Musical Chairs

Management’s lockout continues to damage our community’s reputation as a leader in the arts and the quality of our orchestra. Our talented musicians are departing the Minnesota Orchestra at an alarming rate to pursue positions with higher financial compensation, better benefits, and a respectful atmosphere focused on artistic excellence.

The Minnesota Orchestra now has an unprecedented number of unfilled positions, a third of the string complement, and more than a quarter of the orchestra. Even more Musicians have won auditions and are considering new offers at this time. Please visit A Guide to Ghosts – Musicians Lost to the Lockout for a detailed listing.

The Musicians are heartbroken to announce the departure of more amazing colleagues. We congratulate them on their new positions:

Assistant Concertmaster, Stephanie Arado: Instructor of Violin, Interlochen Center for the Arts, http://www.minnesotaorchestramusicians.org/stephanie-arado/

Second Clarinet, David Pharris: one-year position, Houston Symphony, http://www.minnesotaorchestramusicians.org/david-pharris/

Principal Horn, Michael Gast: one-year position, New York Philharmonic, http://www.minnesotaorchestramusicians.org/michael-gast/

Second Trumpet, Robert Dorer: one-year position, National Symphony, http://www.minnesotaorchestramusicians.org/robert-dorer/

Musicians who have resigned since the lockout began include Sarah Kwak, Associate Concertmaster; Stephanie Arado, Assistant Concertmaster; Gina DiBello, Principal Second Violin; Vali Philips, First Violin; and Matthew Young, Viola.

Musicians who have taken leave since the lockout began in order to consider permanent options elsewhere include Peter McGuire, First Violin; and Burt Hara, Principal Clarinet.

Thomas Turner, Principal Viola; Kenneth Freed, Viola; David Pharris, Second Clarinet; Robert Dorer, Second Trumpet; and Michael Gast, Principal Horn are filling temporary positions in other orchestras at this time and may permanently depart the Minnesota Orchestra.

During the many months of the lockout, the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra have been in demand as guest musicians. Our players have been repeatedly engaged to perform with the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, and other great American orchestras.

Four Musicians, who have previously won international auditions for positions in our orchestra, were never offered contracts and were unable to begin their tenure this season:

Bass Trombonist, George Curran, selected to play trial weeks in the 2012-13 season, has recently won the position of Bass Trombone with the New York Philharmonic.

Gareth Zehngut, viola, won a position in our viola section. Gareth is currently a member of the viola section of the San Diego Symphony.

Yun-Ting Lee won a position in the second violin section. He has since won an audition with the Cleveland Orchestra and has joined their violin section.

Hyejin Yune won a one-year position in the second violin section. Due to the lockout, Hyejin has now returned to her native Korea.

Fond Farewells: The Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra expressed our deepest appreciation to the following musicians who resigned or retired in 2012: Julie AyerMina FisherDavid HerringJanet HorvathChou-hei Min, Basil Reeve, Edward Stack, and David Wright. These long-time musicians brought the irreplaceable experience of playing under music directors Skrowaczewski, Marriner, de Waart, Oue, and Vänskä, performing historic concerts at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the United Nations, and Tanglewood, as well as tours