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Osmo Vänskä, the respected Finnish-born conductor, has resigned from the Minnesota Orchestra, which has been in a bitter labor dispute for over a year. His decision comes just after recent talks between management and the musicians fell through.
Vänskä joined the orchestra back in 2005 and had recently signed a contract extension through 2015. In his statement today, he called it a “very sad day,” adding that he sends his “deepest thanks to everyone involved for what we have achieved together,” reports the LA Times.
“We are very sorry that music director Osmo Vänskä has announced his resignation, as it has always been our hope that he would see the Minnesota Orchestra through this challenging period," orchestra board Chairman Jon Campell stated.
According to the Star-Tribune, the dispute between management and the musicians seemed to be nearing an end on Monday, when they met for the first time since January. But the talks disintegrated and November concerts at Carnegie Hall were cancelled. The musicians came up with two proposals, which were both rejected by management.
Vänskä is a world-renowned conductor and two of his recordings with the orchestra earned Grammy nominations. He helped raise the profile of the Minnesota Orchestra after a 2010 performance at Carnegie Hall won rave reviews.
It will likely have to cancel the 2013-14 season. The LA Times notes that a recently released financial study showed that the group had a $22 million budget deficit, built up over the past three fiscal years.