Group of Minn. Lawmakers Call for Resignation of Orchestra Management

Updated: 12/12/2013 6:28 AM By: Cassie Hart

A group of state lawmakers are calling for the resignation of some big names of the Minnesota Orchestra leaders.

They wrote a letter to the Minnesota Orchestral Association board of directors wanting CEO Michael Henson, chairman Jon Campbell and past chair Richard Davis to resign.

They accuse the three of planning for the lockout and mismanaging finances.

With no concerts to perform, the Minnesota Orchestra Association says it’s running in the red. It ran a deficit of more than $1 million during the last fiscal year that ended in August, earning just $14,000.

The Star Tribune reports that while they orchestra is still losing money, the deficit is nowhere near the $6 million deficit set the year before.

Meanwhile, the locked-out musicians say they’re concerned the orchestra’s leadership still spent $13 million with no concerts to perform.

The move comes more than a year after the lockout started.

KSTP spoke to the vice chair of the negotiating committee, Doug Kelley, about the letter after the board's annual meeting Wednesday.

Kelley says these leaders have been bringing about change and calls the letter inappropriate, "I think instead of asking for their resignation they ought to be he saying thank you for standing up an trying to put this very important arts organization into a sustainable future.”

He says the board is ready to meet with musicians any time to move forward with negotiations, so they can start making music together again.