(Saint Paul Pioneer Press (MN) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 29--Eight of the 77 members of the Minnesota Orchestral Association Board have resigned to protest the announcement that president and CEO Michael Henson will be leaving in August.
In a letter to board chairman Gordon Sprenger, Wayzata attorney Teri E. Popp said encouraging a person to resign who worked so hard to keep the orchestra afloat sends the wrong message to future applicants.
Sprenger said he was disappointed to receive any resignation. He said he hopes some will reconsider but that he'll respect their opinions and decisions.
Save Our Symphony, a community group formed to support the orchestra, "strongly supports the decision of the Board, believing that replacing Mr. Henson is a necessary step on the path to bringing this treasured 111-year-old cultural institution back from the brink of disaster."
The resignations, and Henson's departure, follow a stormy period for the orchestra in which its musicians were locked out for 16 months as the result of a labor dispute. Critically acclaimed former music director Osmo Vanska recently indicated he would like to return, although it isn't known what position he would be offered by the board. He will conduct the orchestra this weekend for the first time since musicians returned to work Feb. 1.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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