Musicians protest outside Symphony Ball

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The nearly year-long lockout of musicians put a damper on festivities at the Minnesota Orchestra’s annual Symphony Ball fundraiser.

Ball organizers say they considered canceling Friday night’s event. But it’s the orchestra’s largest fundraiser of the year, typically raising about $1 million in one night. And board member Doug Kelley says the organization really needs the money right now to try to break the stalemate.

Musicians rallied outside Orchestra Hall to protest the idea of management and the board celebrating. They’ve rejected three management proposals for ending the lockout.

Both sides are working with mediator George Mitchell. Looming is a Sept. 30 deadline set by Music Director Osmo Vanska, who has threatened to resign if the orchestra has to cancel concerts set for November at Carnegie Hall.

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