Fort Worth Symphony musicians strike; weekend concerts canceled

Posted on: September 9, 2016

“The music has stopped for the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra,” writes Andrea Ahles in Thursday’s (9/8) Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX). “The musicians officially went on strike at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, and symphony management subsequently canceled this weekend’s concert series featuring guest violinist James Ehnes. Ticket holders were being contacted by FWSO personnel and were asked to hold on to their tickets…. The orchestra employs 65 full-time musicians with an average salary of $62,000…. The proposed contract that musicians rejected included a significant pay cut in the first year and then small, incremental pay raises in the following three years…. The union maintains that the resulting pay would still be lower than it was in 2010, when musicians took a 13.5 percent pay cut to help weather effects of the recession. On Thursday afternoon, dozens of musicians union members picketed outside Bass Hall…. The orchestra is projecting a $700,000 operating deficit for the 2016-17 season. The symphony finished its most recent season with a $500,000 deficit…. Management and the union have been in federal mediation since July and in contract negotiations for more than 15 months…. The orchestra’s next performance is scheduled for Sept. 16-18 … with the Texas Ballet Theater.”

Posted September 9, 2016

Pictured: Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya leads the orchestra at Bass Performance Hall, September 2015. Photo by Bob Haynes / Star-Telegram