Minnesota Orchestra returns to stage after lockout

Feb. 8, 2014 at 1:32 PM

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 8 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Orchestra played its first concert after 20 months of contract disputes and a $50 million Orchestra Hall face lift, officials said.

The orchestra took to the stage Friday for the first time since the 2012-13 season and the first five months of the current season were canceled, the (Minneapolis) Star-Tribune reported.

"Ladies and gentlemen, we're back," principal trombonist Douglas Wright said.

Audience members shouted during a break in the show, "bring back Osmo!" referring to former music director Osmo Vanska, who resigned in October, the New York Times reported.

"We appreciate that, we understand that and we are addressing that," board Chairman Gordon Sprenger told the crowd.

Of the 83 musicians who played Friday, only 50 were full-time members of the orchestra. Thirty-three players were substitutes to fill in for other full-time members who were fulfilling other engagements taken on during the lockout, the Star-Tribune said.

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