Philadelphia Orchestra, musicians sign pension fund agreement

Posted on: April 25, 2012

Tuesday (4/24) on the Philadelphia Inquirer online, Peter Dobrin reports, “Resolving the most quarrelsome aspect of its bankruptcy, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association has settled with the national musicians’ pension fund that had threatened expensive and time-consuming litigation over the orchestra’s withdrawal from the fund. The American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund (AFM-EPF), which had filed a $35 million claim in the case, will drop all its legal challenges in exchange for $1.75 million from the orchestra. The development allows the orchestra to approach bankruptcy Judge Eric L. Frank with an uncontested reorganization plan, which means—if the orchestra can wrap up talks with the Kimmel Center over a new lease—that it could be out of bankruptcy within 90 days. The fund did not immediately respond to a request for comment. … Still pending before the association can file a reorganization plan is a new contract with the Kimmel Center, its landlord for Verizon Hall. … Also related to the pension plan squabble was a contract between the orchestra and the American Federation of Musicians relating to the national electronic media agreement, which the AFM had declined to sign. It was signed recently, [Orchestra bankruptcy lawyer Lawrence G.] McMichael said, but was contingent on the settlement with the pension fund.”

Posted April 25, 2012