Rybak hosts concert to celebrate Minn. Orchestra's Grammy nodby Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
MINNEAPOLIS — Mayor R.T. Rybak hosted a celebration concert Friday night at the Minneapolis Convention Center to mark the Minnesota Orchestra's Grammy nomination for best orchestral performance.
The orchestra performed with music director Osma Vanska for the first time in months.
The mayor told a capacity crowd that it was time to support the orchestra. He did not directly address the current lockout at the orchestra, but he urged everyone to help resolve what he called a difficult situation.
"I ask us all to do everything we can to support the people to come together to a resolution and more than anything else to rededicate ourselves to ensure that this institution continues," Rybak said.
Rybak said it is possible to look at the institution embroiled in a difficult situation.
"But there is another way to look at tonight," Rybak said. "We can say that in this community that has been blessed with so much extraordinary art, we have an orchestra that has surged forward and done remarkable things under a remarkable conductor, and now we are actually nominated for a Grammy that, guess what, we should actually win, and that's how we do it."
The orchestra and Vanska received several standing ovations during the concert.
The Grammy Awards are Feb. 10. Vanska said he loves the recording of the Sibelius' 2nd and 5th symphonies for which the Minnesota Orchestra is nominated. However, he says the orchestra's next release, Sibelius 1 and 4, is much better.
Meanwhile, the labor dispute has festered for months; the lockout began on Oct. 1, 2012. Management says it needs to reduce its budget by $6 million a year if it is to survive and maintain its world-renowned sound. Musicians argue the large salary cuts proposed will lead to the best players leaving the orchestra and destroy its international reputation.