San Antonio Symphony ends contract with music director emeritus, amid ongoing musicians’ strike

Posted on: April 20, 2022

“The San Antonio Symphony board terminated its contract with Music Director Emeritus Sebastian Lang-Lessing on Friday, cutting ties with the man who had been the public face of the orchestra,” writes Jim Kiest in Monday’s (4/18) San Antonio Express-News (TX). “The dismissal of Lang-Lessing … is the latest turn in more than six months of discord between the musicians and management…. Musicians are on strike and have lost their health insurance and other benefits, and both sides have filed charges with the National Labor Relations board. Lang-Lessing’s firing came after it was announced that he would conduct a pair of concerts May 12 and 13 by the striking musicians of the San Antonio Symphony…. Lang-Lessing was scheduled to conduct” a concert by the San Antonio Symphony on May 13, “the same date as a concert by the striking musicians. Corey Cowart, executive director of the San Antonio Symphony, said Lang-Lessing’s decision to conduct those MOSAS concerts violated a ‘radius clause’ in his contract … [which] states that ‘Artists shall neither make nor announce any appearances in San Antonio, Texas within 60 days prior to or following the performance dates of the concerts.’… The symphony … was working to hire replacement conductors.”