Fort Worth Symphony back on solid ground, celebrating 100 years

Posted on: November 19, 2012

In Sunday’s (11/18) Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas), Tim Madigan writes, “In 1912, a ragtag orchestra of 32 musicians made its debut in a Fort Worth church. … A century later, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra has 65 full-time and eight part-time members—musicians from 17 countries and five continents, many of them graduates of the world’s finest music schools and conservatories. … On a winter night in 2008, [Music Director Miguel] Harth-Bedoya’s orchestra made a triumphant debut at Carnegie Hall, earning thunderous ovations from a near-sellout crowd and rave reviews from New York critics. … The same year that began with Carnegie Hall magic ended with a historic economic downturn, touching off the most trying four years in the FWSO’s modern era. The symphony lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue, virtually overnight. That led to bitter labor negotiations in 2010, which ended when musicians reluctantly agreed to a whopping 13 percent pay cut. … Today, the company still operates slightly in the red, but the worst seems over, at least for now. Over the summer, musicians quietly agreed to another contract that did not call for further pay cuts. By most accounts, no matter the level of strife offstage, the quality of the music never suffered.” Madigan’s lengthy article recounts many of the ups and downs of the orchestra’s recent history.

Photo by Richard W. Rodriguez

Posted November 19, 2012