ICSOM’s Ridge visits Utah Symphony, praises musician-management cooperation

Posted on: December 14, 2012

In Friday’s (12/14) Deseret News (Salt Lake City, Utah), Sharon Haddock writes, “The chairman of the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) says that the fine arts, including orchestras like the Utah Symphony, are impressively resilient in hard times. Bruce Ridge, making a stop in Salt Lake this week to hear and talk with members of the Utah Symphony and its management, said it’s important to restore what is taken away in tough economic periods but heartwarming to realize the arts survive, sometimes when it seems improbable to do so. In 2011, Utah Symphony musicians agreed to $1.1 million in salary cuts over three years, basically an 8 percent base salary reduction that illustrated their dedication to making sure the organization survived. … Orchestras and opera companies across America have confronted major financial struggles in recent years with many facing musician strikes or being forced to file Chapter 7 and Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but 25 symphonies ‘doomed to die’ 25 years ago, according to newspaper headlines of the time, are alive and well today, Ridge said. Utah’s symphony has avoided the adversarial kind of scenario, largely due to sacrifice and vision on the part of the musicians and the management, Ridge said.”

Posted December 14, 2012