[This letter was sent to Graydon Royce, Reporter at the StarTribune]
October 15, 2013
Dear Mr. Royce,
My name is Angela Fuller Heyde, from 1999-2006 I was a first violinist in the MN Orchestra. I left for a concertmaster position, and am now principal 2nd of the Dallas Symphony. In other words, I left a great orchestra for a leadership position in a lesser orchestra. I have often questioned my choice, until now- when for the first time I am glad not to be there anymore.
I would never presume to tell you how to do your job, and yes, I have an extremely biased point of view on the lockout, given my relationship with the orchestra. That being said, I have been disturbed by your coverage, or lack thereof, of the lockout. At least from my point of view, it seems that the talking points issued by the MOA have been the bulk of your reporting, with no investigation on your own part. In recent days, much has happened, none of which has been covered by you or your paper.
1) Michael Henson’s newly publicized $200,000+ bonus in the 2011-2012 fiscal year- the year prior to locking out the orchestra. If there was that much money for one individual’s bonus, how dire can they claim finances truly are?
2) The unprecedented residence of an American orchestra at the BBC Proms in 2015… cancelled.
3) Rep. Phyllis Kahn proposing the state take over the Minnesota Orchestra. She is proposing a bill to the legislature to follow the Green Bay Packers model- isn’t that worth reporting? Wouldn’t it be interesting to spark a dialogue on this topic?
I simply don’t understand how these points have been overlooked. While the local bloggers may be hyperbolic and passionately biased, they pose questions-BIG questions, elephant in the room questions, that DESERVE answers. Why have you not posed these questions? Or at least reported the facts that lend themselves to questions? Is it because your boss is on the MOA board? Or is that unrelated, as we have been told by the MOA?
Sir, this is the murder of a 110 year old cultural institution. The blood of hundreds of careers, past, present, and future, soaks the battlefield. I ask you to step forward, with integrity, and REPORT. Investigate, research, and report. Ask questions, stir things up. No more MN nice. If it is a risk to your job, you will at least have the knowledge that you helped to save what is left of the orchestra, or at least that you brought its killers to justice.
This is a dark moment in history for the symphony orchestra. Give people a reason to subscribe to your paper.
Angela Fuller Heyde