I’m told this audition was a no-hire when it concluded back in early Jan
this audition had one super finalist who was also a finalist in the previous audition that was held a year ago. The horn section there also has a history of appointing or promoting players without auditions.
Minnesota seems bad at holding auditions.
In the past couple years there have been three viola hires, a bass hire, and a title chair violin. The committees vary based on the instrument which of course you know, but in the case of reannouced auditions after no-hires, a lot of orchestras have archaic by-laws which force the same (failing) committee to reconvene for the next go at the same audition. Politics can play into who gets auto-advanced, and if there is a screen down in final rounds there is a huge possibility of nepotism.
There have actually been 4 viola spots filled just this season, as well as 2 section violin positions, associate concertmaster, principal harp, and second flute. Also the bass position last season as mentioned and other successful hires in recent years. The bassoon and horn positions have run into snags and one can speculate on the reasons for that, but generally speaking Minnesota makes hires from their auditions.
The bass position was actually for Associate Principal, and two players were awarded trials. After the trials concluded (almost 2 years later due to covid), it was called a no hire. A month later, a section member (who didn’t take the audition) was appointed to the position, and her vacancy was given to one of the trial candidates. Something similar happened with Associate Principal Viola as well.