Slatkin takes no sides in Detroit Symphony strike

Posted on: November 1, 2010

In Sunday’s (10/31) Detroit Free Press, Mark Stryker writes, “Nearly a month into the Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike, music director Leonard Slatkin has yet to speak publicly about the bitter labor dispute that has engulfed his orchestra. The DSO’s chief artistic leader and most widely known advocate has repeatedly declined comment, even as musicians, management, critics, pundits and bloggers have weighed in on the issues. … Hired by the board but unable to function effectively without the goodwill of the players, music directors generally seek sanctuary behind a shield of neutrality. ‘They find themselves squarely in the middle,’ said Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras in New York. ‘There isn’t a position to take that doesn’t cause problems.’ … Slatkin, who last winter signed a two-year contract extension with a voluntary pay cut, last publicly addressed the conflict in mid August. He told the Free Press that he remained optimistic about the future and saw no reason not to consider another extension when his deal expires. … Slatkin has remained active in Detroit during the strike, courting donors and planning artistic projects. He went through something similar in 1979, when the start of his tenure with the St. Louis Symphony was delayed by a strike.”

Posted November 1, 2010