Thursday, May 02, 2013

What To Do About Osmo Vänskä’s Threat And Failure Of Leadership

What to do about Osmo Vänskä’s threat and failure of leadership?

There is only one realistic answer.

Harvard Business School and Stanford Business School advise enterprises—as a cardinal rule—always to accept threatened resignations . . . with IMMEDIATE effect.

All other courses of action are destined to fail, and fail miserably, both short-term and long-term.

The course is now set. Going forward, as long as Vänskä remains in Minnesota, there will be nothing but trouble, into perpetuity.

Update of Sunday, May 5, 2013, at 5:36 p.m. C.D.T.:

Apparently Vänskä does not like this post.

And apparently he does not like the comments, either.

Vänskä is especially irate over this particular comment, of all things, which he forwarded to four persons, complaining vociferously.

One of the message recipients telephoned my father a few minutes ago, to let my father know of Vänskä’s concern.

Why Vänskä would single out that particular comment for objection is beyond me.

Might I suggest that in future Vänskä go easier on the vodka?

33 comments:

  1. The article about Vanska appeared today on Artsjournal.

    I'm sorry to ask this, Andrew, but are ALL the members of the Minnesota Orchestra blithering brain-dead idiots? Dudamel a "hot commodity"!?

    Move over, Alex Ross.

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  2. It's typical Minnesota union stuff, a replay of Hormel. The ultimate outcome is always the same, as the musicians of the SPCO recently learned.

    Vanska should have more sense than to issue public statements. His job is to provide leadership behind the scenes, and otherwise keep his mouth shut.

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  3. I saw him last year with the LA Phil. It was his debut. He wasn’t very good.

    Mark Swed of the LA Times panned him. He said the members of the LA Phil didn’t like him and didn’t play well for him. I sorta agree.

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  4. Mark Swed is so tightly bound with Esa-Pekka Salonen that Swed was certain to be harsh on Vanska. Swed knows that Salonen and Vanska have never maintained cordial relations, going back to their Jorma Panula days.

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  5. Why do you make it so difficult to comment here?

    Why do you not accept normal identification methods?

    Why must I create a Blogger account? Blogger is a nightmare, and it is altering my text.

    Your father would not approve.

    Your mother would profusely apologize.

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  6. Now that I have that off my chest . . .

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  7. And things DO seem to be working now . . .

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  8. Yes, Osmo has provided poor leadership. He has provided no leadership at all.

    But on your other point you are wrong.

    Yes, if Osmo had five years remaining on his contract, his threatened resignation should have been accepted on Tuesday without further ado.

    But Osmo has only two years remaining on his contract, and he has been informed that his contract will not be extended beyond 2015. Over the next two years, the orchestra’s objectives are to get the musicians back in the hall and to identify Osmo’s successor. To accept Osmo’s resignation now would not contribute to achieving the orchestra’s objectives.

    Whether Osmo leaves now or leaves in two years is irrelevant. Whether Osmo leaves now or leaves in two years, he leaves as damaged goods. If he’s smart, he knows he needs to clean up his legacy. If he’s smart, he knows it’s in his own personal interest to stick around and have a final 2014-2015 season. He can declare that final season a success and move on to a provincial post in Helsinki (which everyone believes he’s already arranged).

    CM

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  9. I had to get Deborah to help me in order to do this right.

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  10. I apologize for the inconvenience.

    Blogger reprogrammed its software a couple of weeks ago, and the bugs have yet to be ironed out. Spacings change without notice, fonts change without notice, diacritics are inserted without notice, and photographs have become near-impossible to publish. It is all very tiresome.

    Whenever I open comments beyond those with Google accounts, commercial spammers sweep in and enter comments by the dozen.

    Thought I might see you in church this morning, and apologize in person.

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  11. I just saw that Jessye Norman gave a recital in Minneapolis. I thought she was retired. Did you go?

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  12. She appeared in Saint Paul. We did not go.

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  13. Wow! I should have checked back earlier. What did he say?

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  14. Vanska? Apparently he said he was "unhappy".

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  15. And that's it? That's all he said?

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  16. I suspect he may have said more, but that was all that was passed down to me. I wasn't privy to any of this.

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  17. So what did your Dad say?

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  18. Very little. He thought it was nonsense, coming from someone who wasn't doing his job. But he said he would pass along the word, and he did so.

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  19. So what are you going to do now?

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  20. I am going to go to bed soon.

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  21. One of the reasons Osmo's wife divorced him (and I would know) is his fondness for the bottle.

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    Replies
    1. I would hope that you are mistaken. Just the same, if that is the case, it might explain some things...

      Delete
  22. Oh, dear, I see that your well-nourished friend whose hobbies include eating, discussing food, and planning dinner parties "as well as being quite fond of . . . pinball," has published an "Analysis" of something other than food and pinball, courtesy of "Sticks and Drones."

    The article was so succulent that I decided to feed his Analysis and Conclusion to The Amphisbaena Whisperer Digest (forum). The Editor just sent me his response:

    "I don't understand: How can someone make a hobby of being fond of something? Analize that!

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  23. The man is an idiot beyond compare. At least I learned that “nevertheless” is now three words: “never-the-less”. I shall have to make a note.

    He neglected to include his final sentence: “And, if my proposals are instituted, salaries for musicians, going forward, will be $22,000 per year—if that.”

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  24. This leaves aside, of course, the true issue: is it appropriate for Eddins to criticize local ensembles without once noting that he lobbies, incessantly, without success, for engagements with the Minnesota Orchestra, SPCO and Minnesota Opera?

    None of the organizations will touch him with a ten-foot pole.

    Never-the-less . . .

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  25. You’d think Lydia would be able to put the clamps on Ol’ Osmo. Is he not listening to her? Is she giving bad advice?

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  26. I don’t think HP (which is having financial problems) understands the North American market, which is odd, given that conductor and soloist fees—but not singer fees—are much higher here than in Europe. Both Boreyko and Urbanski have made really DUMB North American moves, which would not have happened had HP been providing good management and good advice.

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  27. A first time reader of this blog, it has been hard to follow the conversation. Speaking as a long time patron of the MN ORCH, to me OSMO VANSKA has accomplished the most of any from the long, illustrious line of music directors. Many critics have said he led the Orchestra into a golden age, as evidenced by the recording contracts, national and foreign invitations to play in the great musical centers, and grammy awards. He clearly has a unique bond with the musicians, all of whom apparently want him to return. As for leadership, his contract forbid him from speaking out, which he only did after resigning. Some called this cowardly, but he knew what was needed to prepare for the New York residency. He also put his reputation on the line by saying he would not return with Henson as the CEO, though he could have played it safe with the security of a contract. Please substantiate that his contract was not going to be renewed after 2015 as was suggested. Who said this?

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    Replies
    1. Mr. Vanska has managed to put himself in the middle of the conflict. He was probably supposed to side with MOA and help them 'humble' the players into crawling back, but instead he encouraged the players to fight for themselves.
      So, no matter how talented he is, he is equally controversial to MOA. He may even be considered toxic to some...

      Delete
  28. "Might I suggest that in future Vänskä go easier on the vodka?"

    Ironic. Vodka was my flute teacher's, (at the time Principal Flute of the MO) drink of choice as well. :-0

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