Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra continue to confront the Minnesota Orchestral Association and leave empty handed. But supporters of the players who dug deep into their pockets have compiled a bigger chunk of change than expected. A total of $650,000 has been raised for the musicians, reports The Star Tribune. The funds come from individual donors and fellow ensemble players from 87 orchestras across the globe.
Donations cover costs that concert revenue—which totals $201,289 since October 2012—can’t cover. They’ve also enabled players to establish a hardship fund and loan fund. This cushion of cash hasn’t changed the musicians’ goals, however. Some in the community have advocated a complete break from the Orchestral Association—or suggested putting it under the public’s wing—but the leader of the musicians’ negotiating team, clarinetist Tim Zavadil, says that they still hope to reach a contract settlement.
Other ensembles have given back to the musicians by hiring them during the lockout, in part supporting fears that the lockout will dilute Minnesota’s pool of top-tier musicians. But musicians aren’t packing their bags en masse just yet. Donations allow them to continue hosting concerts for their supporters, and they’ve made plans for eight to 10 upcoming performances, including a concert with violinist Joshua Bell.