Well, let’s try…(this is observation, not my opinion)
When Mr. Vanska was hired in 2003 it was to take the MO to the next level as a top US orchestra with international status. At about that time the MOA also began borrowing money to make this vision happen. Although the MO received some stellar reviews, and played like champs, this was not enough to hold the attention of donors with money, so there were ongoing losses that threatened to drain the endowment.
With the rebuilding of the Hall, the MOA realized that this might be their one chance to put the MO back into a fiscally sound position. They probably hoped that the status and recognition already earned by the MO under Mr. Vanska would hold while they trimmed and streamlined everything to make a financially viable model for the long-term future. Having discovered how expensive having a world-class orchestra can be, they decided to err on the side of caution. They hoped everyone would support their new paradigm.
The players, however, believed their own press more than the MOA, and now, since they were ‘elite’, chose to hold their ground. They then did something, however, that was reminiscent of Diana’s attacks on the monarchy — they demanded full financial disclosure and moved toward demonizing the board, perhaps in hopes that the public would help them. This backfired, however, and MOA only fought back with additional ferocity. When would the players acknowledge the financial crisis the MO is in? When will they live in the real world?