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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2019 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Labor Peace Breaks Out in Philly

Three day strike by the Philadelphia Orchestra is at an end. 
Peace breaks out in the City of Brotherly Love.
Yes, Virginia, that's a photo alteration, but it beats a picket line.
Two days after a strike cancelled their opening night gala and an entire weekend worth of concerts, the Philadelphia Orchestra has gone back to work.

In a statement earlier today, Philadelphia Orchestra resident Allison Vulgamore said: "“First, it is important to express our deep regret to patrons, students and volunteers for the cancellation of all performances this weekend. Each and every one of us takes our commitment to our audience and community very seriously."

"We now have a tentative agreement that will immediately restore our music to our audiences and provide our outstanding musicians with a compensation plan that both increases their base salaries and provides additional financial reward as we continue to build resources for a vibrant and exciting future. This agreement is a demonstration that we are moving forward together to ensure that the Fabulous Philadelphians will be playing for generations to come."

The agreement includes a series of  modest salary increases for the next three years, compensation that (according to a statement from the musicians) "does not achieve our goal of being compensated on a level comparable with other leading American orchestras." The orchestra will also expand to 97 musicians in 2019 and will expand its program of Sunday concerts.

The concord between players and management is good news, not just for Philadelphians but for those music-lovers who have tickets for the Orchestra's planned Oct. 10 performance at Carnegie Hall. The famed ensemble will be playing Mahler's Symphony No. 6, the "Tragic", in which a deadly, otherworldly hammer-blow strikes the music dead in its tracks in the fourth movement.

For now, the hammer on Broad Street has been silenced, and the orchestra will march on.

The statement continues: "When we reluctantly went on strike a few days ago, we had no expecation that we could quickly restore the Orchestra to the ompensation and working conditions for which we are striving. This was the only way in which we could call attention to a situation we regarded as desperate."

Tuesday Oct. 4 is Audience Appreciation Day at the Kimmel Center, where the musicians of the Orchestra will play a special series of free concerts for fans, ticket-holders and music lovers throughout the day. Click here on the Philadelphia Orchestra website for more details.

In other news, bitter strikes continue at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the smaller Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Each of these strikes started last Friday.

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