Tag Archives: players

#MinnegeddonPartDeux – Now what? (or, the fallout continues)

While OV begins negotiations to return in some capacity to the MO, eight board members of MOA have resigned as a result of the dismissal of Mr. Henson.  While all of this seems quite to be expected, as the chips fall from the prolonged lockout of eighteen months, we are given yet another fascinating glimpse into the innards of this organization.  

Are there underlying reasons for these events?  Are there other shoes to fall, so to speak? Will the ‘rebellion’ staged by the players in refusing to crawl back to MOA after being locked-out and the encouragement of their leader who stood up to MOA on their behalf continue to the point of trying to, in effect, clean house at MOA and, in effect, perhaps even try to take control of the endowment? Or, if they do not get their way, might they even try to form another organization and attempt to have the endowment transferred to them? 

Ironically, it may well have been the legacy of those who are leaving or who have already resigned to have managed, in their own at-times bumbling way, to keep MO from going belly-up during a time of great crisis and transition.  

Certainly, this is an interesting time…


“The Other Mozart” — why a blog and not the Crowned Heads of Europe? :-0

There is so much known about Wolfgang Mozart’s life, but so little valid information about what he was like as a person.  Most people end up believing a lot of misconceptions about him.  Many of them are summed up in the movie “Amadeus,” which tends to focus on and even exaggerate his character defects.  The clear implication is that he didn’t ‘deserve’ to be so richly endowed with genius because he was in fact a nasty person.

To my mind, this is both unfair and wrong.  Mozart was shot out of a cannon at an early age onto the world stage.  He didn’t have a chance to grow up normally.  He knew his gifts were extraordinary, and he knew he had to work as quickly as possible with whatever time he had.  In short, I think he knew his own shortcomings better than anyone, but was determined to fulfill the mission given to him despite them, and in spite of the backbiting and negativity of his colleagues.

Ultimately, of course, the earthly voice of Mozart was silenced.  There is ample reason to believe his untimely death was not of natural causes.  Certainly, the contempt and deceit of his contemporaries served at the least to discourage him and shorten his days on earth.  His music was stolen away from him.  It was then even paraded like a banner by some who hated him, to try to show the world that they were as good as he was.  Many counterfeit or anti-Mozarts have tried to lay claim to being another Wolf. Nobody has succeeded.  They never will.

And so, here I am.  As I said to one of the ‘professional’ players of the MO,”I feel I have a drop of what Wolf had an ocean of.” (Excuse my grammar).  I believe that I can talk about his life from the inside, not the outside.  Every mistake he made has been of benefit to me.

People tend to think of Mozart as ‘exclusive’.  They seem to think he had a gift inaccessible to anyone else, and then they hated him for it. That is false.  Unfortunately, Wolf himself contributed to that lie.  So I am speaking to you with a simple voice, in a manner intended to be inclusive.  My family and friends can verify that there is absolutely nothing extraordinary about me.  In fact, they insist on telling me that frequently. :-0

I live an ordinary life and do very mundane (compared to Wolf) things.  I live simply.  I am passionate about my family, my friends, and my horse.  And every time I pick up the flute to play I am humbled, sometimes to the extent where I am unable to accomplish much at all.  And so, before most of you hear me play, before you learn more of “P2A”, I want you to know me as a person.  What better way than a blog? :-0

In addition, though my adversaries will undoubtedly disagree, I feel that it is in Gd’s plan for me to live in an out-of-the-way town in “the Heartland” of this country.  This is a gift for the ‘salt-of-the-earth’, the ‘common people’ who are just extraordinary in their kindness.  It is these people who have supported my children and me while  “Monostatos” did its best to lock me out and target my children.


Waiting for an apology from the players? May be a long wait… s d reply

Bob Smith said, “I hope the Musicians apologize to the community and donors who they insulted during their union inspired year and a half tantrum. “

I am still waiting for a proper introduction from the ringleader of the clique I call “Monostatos” and an apology to my children for the effects they experienced by my being, in effect, ‘locked out.’

We may both have a bit of a wait. :-0


#Minnegeddon — the underlying issue?

It seems everyone is dipping and diving, ducking and scurrying in the New Year to try to bring about some resolution to the ongoing angst at Orchestra Hall, certainly per this article: http://tcbmag.com/News/Recent-News/2014/January/Debate-Over-Orchestra-Hall-Lease-Continues

But is there an underlying issue that needs to be addressed before all this can happen?  Historically-speaking, it is my thinking that the name change from the Minneapolis Symphony to the Minnesota Orchestra should have raised a huge flag to anyone who has even the most rudimentary understanding of what the real Wolfgang Mozart was all about.  And that would certainly include SS, the conductor-laureate, who professes to “love Mozart” and oversaw this change. Even he acknowledged that it was not well-received by the players.  Did it not occur to anyone that there was a curious similarity between “Minnesota” and the wicked servant “Monostatos” in Mozart’s last major opera, The Magic Flute?  Hard to imagine that these professionals would miss that one.  Perhaps they were keeping their noses too close to the music on their stands to think clearly.  

Next, a female flute player appears on the scene, led by a handful of players, to practice on that stage.  Week-in and week-out, her playing soars throughout the building, as the stage is miked to be heard everywhere.  “Mozart!” “Mozart!” “Mozart” cries one of them, running around behind her as though looking for him to appear.  “The real magic flute,” hisses another, through clenched jaws, while also gritting their teeth. Did they then provide her with a proper introduction to their world of music?  No.  Instead, they decided to target not only her but her three small children.  They, in effect, “locked her out”.  

And so, some time later, the entire mechanism of this organization, with an endowment of nearly $200M has ground to a halt.  Will it snap back to life without a resolution of this issue?  If this information is true, must we not then ask just what happens to a band that tries to lock out Mozart?

Oh, wait.  Isn’t that exactly what did happen to Mozart in Vienna?  He believed the exquisite beauty and extraordinary composition of his music would provide him with a handsome and reliable income there.  But, was that the case?  No, his colleagues turned on him, and did their best to lock him out of commissions.  They also refused to acknowledge that there was something about his music that made it so different from their own that there was simply no basis for comparison — just as one cannot compare a perfect interval to a major or minor one.  And so, it is not unlikely that he was murdered because of this extra gift.  

So, in this case, everyone involved has, by now, received all the information they need to understand, if they choose, this issue.  Can this situation be resolved without first addressing it?  Will those involved continue to stonewall, or will they instead dare to address it?




#Minnegeddon…What about those the players have locked out?

As we enter this new year with excitement and perhaps a bit of trepidation, we find ourselves almost automatically in sympathy with anyone who is without work in their chosen field.  And so it is with any musician locked-out of their place of work, unable to fulfill the contract they believed would provide them with a steady income.  And so we should.  Nevertheless, is there even more to a situation such as this than what we are being told?

The public tends to view professional musicians as gentle, giving souls who have sacrificed all for their art.  The reality, however, can be a bit more grisly.  First of all, anyone who starts their employment by having not only to fight their way to succeed over countless other contenders, must then fit in perfectly with a pre-existing organization led by a conductor who makes ordinary micro-managing look blase.  In other words, these players are on the firing line every day.  While they may love to tell the public how soothing and uplifting the music is that they perform, the fact is that much of it, in a large ensemble anyhow, is far too loud for most ears, and can even create permanent damage.

To be realistic — these people are tough as nails.  They have no choice.  If they were not, they would fail.  One of them even said to me, “You have to have the killer instinct to survive in this business.”  Yet these are the people we welcome into our schools, blissfully turning our children over to their tender care and instructions, proud that we have managed to give our child lessons with a professional musician.  The truth is, some of these people are hardly angels.  They may choose to teach one student and refuse to teach another (while keeping your money).  They may even appear to nurture those with ‘promise’ while doing their best to weed out any potential competition.  They may have such little self-esteem that they could even deliberately try to lead a potential star of music astray.  One would certainly hope most players would never behave in an unethical manner, but if even a handful did, must we not do our due diligence and ask about those they may have themselves locked out? How much concern did they give to those people the players themselves may have locked-out?  What about the children of those people?

#Minnegeddon and Die Zauberflote…a bit puzzling…

With the ongoing angst of the MO lockout still not yet resolved, it seems just a bit curious that those professionals who have experienced what they have called ‘the real magic flute’ personally continue to stay mum about the possibility that there is a connection between it and the lockout.  Has anyone even bothered to wonder if this difficult situation is not just an act of fate, but perhaps a consequence of events that happened some time ago, some of them even on the stage at Orchestra Hall?  Just a thought…

Slipped Disc reply…what is this year’s top story? #Minnegeddon, of course…

It seems to me that the “Minnegeddon” in Minnesota may have the greatest long-term impact of any story of this year, especially taking into consideration the fact that Mr. Vanska felt he had no choice but to walk away from the MO after having had such a meaningful effect on its stature.



#Minnegeddon — the fallout continues…and expands…

I have been talking about what I call “Minnegeddon” since I was a flute performance major at the U of M.  I have been tweeting and posting about it from the time I wrote that episide of “Piper to the Alternative” in 2012, before the MO lockout.  But my statements have, for the most part, been ignored.  I’m just apparently not the kind of person one takes seriously.  I take responsible for having a sarcastic air and a goofy Pythonesque sense of humor, using emoticons, and making outrageous statements.  These aspects of my character probably tend not to persuade others of my brilliance or sagacity, not to mention, prophetic abilities.  

Oh yes, there is one more thing — I have yet to be given a proper introduction by one who does have ‘credibility’ in the area of performance of classical music.  This one, a “Monostatos”, if you will, could, with just a few words, provide definition to the other issue that has been a part of the events in Minnesota over the last year.  

So now, there seems to be a stalemate in the MO situation that is mollified only by the tenacity of Rep. Kahn, who is proposing that the entire structure of the MO be changed and made accountable to the State of Minnesota, not to its own board. One can hardly imagine what the current board members are saying about this…

In addition, we seem to have a US govt shutdown.  If there were to be a default, it would occur, ironically, on Oct. 17th.  Four years ago, my Mother passed away on that date.  An odd coincidence.  

How long will it take for people to start thinking outside of the box?  How many will actually go to a score of Mozart’s last major opera and check out the character with a name that sounds like “Minnesota”?  In 1791, of course, before Mozart’s untimely death, there was no “Minnesota”.  




SNM — “the MO is a good place for players on the way up or on the way down…” s d reply

A. Penner says, “it seems they will lose status…? “

The current MO salary is comparative with the top tier of US orchestras who have earned international recognition. The orchestra model many of these players signed onto was that of a destination orchestra of international renown. MOA seems to have a different vision for the MO — to return it to the status of a good regional orchestra, and lower the salaries to be consistent with that level of status.

Previous conductor SNM said in the 80’s the MO was a good place for players ‘on their way up or on their way down’. The MO was not a destination orchestra at that time. Ironically, a handful of players still with the MO were there during his tenure.