The management of the St Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) has cancelled its scheduled concerts until 23 March, following the breakdown of contract negotiations.
Talks between management and the locked-out SPCO musicians were conducted at the beginning of January under a media blackout, but the musicians’ committee ended the negotiations and the blackout, saying that the management was unwilling to compromise on key issues.
The SPCO had previously cancelled concerts until the end of December, and then until 8 February. The musicians, who have been locked out since 21 October, are set to perform two independently produced Baroque concerts this week.
The news follows concert cancellations by the Minnesota Orchestra, whose musicians have also been locked out since October. Concerts on the weekend of 14 and 15 February have been cancelled and another postponed until the 2013–14 season.
The Minnesota Orchestra contract dispute has also led to the unprecedented cancellation of this month’s WAMSO Young Artist Competition, run by the Minnesota Orchestra Volunteer Association. Launched in 1956, the annual event attracts entrants from eleven Midwest states and two Canadian provinces, and has given early exposure to such artists as James Ehnes (a first-prize winner in 1992), Mark Kosower (1994) and Lara St John (1995).