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Musicians of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra Vote No Confidence in Managing Director

The 28 players of the SPCO union held the vote unanimously, after their Artistic Director Kyu-Young Kim resigned in protest


The musicians of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (SPCO) have announced a vote of no confidence in Jon Limbacher, the orchestra's managing director. The 28 players of the SPCO's union held the vote unanimously following the recent resignation of their Artistic Director Kyu-Young Kim.

The union's contract with the orchestra is set to expire this summer, and they are presently negotiating a new contract with SPCO management.

SPCO violinist Daria T. Adams told the Star Tribune that last summer, while Kim was away on sabbatical, Limbacher proposed dramatically reducing the number of the orchestra's annual performing weeks, from 35 to 19. Under this scheme, pay was to be unaffected, but the players felt that the orchestra needed to perform much more often.

Adams added that the orchestra had been considering a vote of no confidence since the fall of 2023, but that Kim's resignation was "the last straw."

"Musicians are the heart and soul of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra," a statement from the SPCO management reads, "and we can all agree that we would like to see compensation increases for them."

However, Adams noted that while pay was an important factor, most of the players' concerns about their management were artistic, rather than financial.

Deborah Palmer, the SPCO board chair commented that the board "unequivocally supports Jon Limbacher as he leads the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra into the future."

"We will continue to negotiate with the musicians for an agreement that provides a pathway to structural balance and sustains the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra for the community well into the future," she added.

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