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Classical Notes

SPCO musicians affirm new management model

Posted at 1:36 PM on July 3, 2007 by Don Lee

The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and its musicians have reached a new five-year contract agreement that adds six weeks to the orchestra's concert schedule. For the first time since 1993, the SPCO will have a 40-week season.

"The ability to negotiate a return to a 40-week contract was important for the musicians in terms of providing continuous employment between Labor Day and Memorial Day, and for the organization to be able to have six more weeks of performances to be able to present to the community," President Bruce Coppock tells MPR's Chris Roberts.

The orchestra plans to expand its neighborhood concert series.

In the new contract, musicians also granted broader rights to use SPCO concert recordings on the air and on the Web--"a vast array of formats," says Coppock, who describes the new deal as "a truly modern media agreement, which should allow us to do a lot of very creative things."

In previous contracts, Coppock says, the orchestra's recording rights were much more limited. The new one covers approximately 35 years of orchestra performances.

Overall Coppock views the new agreement as affirmation of the SPCO's three-year-old management model, which gives musicians a larger stake in the orchestra's decision-making process.