Both the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra are in the process of negotiating new contracts with their musicians. The talks come amid a national orchestral scene rife with conflict, economic challenges and, in some cases, long strikes. The fact that both orchestras are up for contract renewal at the same time raises the stakes even further.
The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra faces a projected deficit of up to $1 million this year and is looking to cut costs. (Photo by Sarah Rubenstein)
Over the coming weeks, Minnesota Public Radio will be looking closely at what's at stake for both musicians and orchestra management, and how having two orchestras in one metropolitan area is affecting the local market for classical music. We'll also look at the potential impact of an extended strike by either or both orchestras.
The story is a complex one, so we've put together a primer to help you understand just what's going on.