New five-year contract for musicians at Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

Posted on: August 28, 2020

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and its musicians have agreed on a new five-year contract, to begin on September 7, 2020. The contract is the organization’s first long-term agreement with musicians since a three-year contract expired in 2016. The orchestra and musicians had most recently been operating under a one-year contract signed last September, following a lockout due to disagreements over salary, benefits, musician complement, and length of season. Central to the new agreement is an acknowledgement of the significant financial pressures associated with COVID-19 in the form of compensation reductions, followed by gradual increases in compensation and number of musicians (from 75 fulltime musicians in the coming season to 85 in 2024-25). The first year includes a 26 percent reduction in base pay for musicians, followed by increases of 1 to 2.5 percent in succeeding years. The year-round benefits package, which includes medical, dental, vision, life, long-term disability, and instrument insurance, will continue. In addition, the agreement advances an institutional recommitment to diversity, equity and inclusion by establishing a task force to design new professional development opportunities, evaluate orchestral hiring procedures, and establish new fellowship programs.