Minnesota Orchestra returns following long lockout

By Kyle Johnson,

The Minnesota Orchestra was officially back on Friday with its first orchestra following a 16 month lockout.

The New York Times reports that 50 members returned to play the opening night and 33 others were temporary members used to replace those with obligations elsewhere due to the lockout.

The Orchestra also turned to 90-year-old Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, who has been with the company for almost 20 years, to be music director after the previous director, Osmo Vanska, resigned in the middle of the lockout.

Principal trombone Douglas Wright spoke first to the crowd, according to The Star Tribune, "Ladies and gentlemen, we're back."

The orchestra hall also has changed since many were last in it as it underwent updating to the tune of $50 million.

During intermission Wright and new board chairman Gordon Sprenger spoke on stage about looking towards the future. "We need to forge a partnership among the musicians, the board and the entire community." He added, "The hall is full tonight and that's the way it needs to be."

The lockout lasted the entirety of the 2012-13 orchestra season and lingered five months into the 2013-14 season until both sides were able to come together and the orchestra was no longer locked out.

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