New York Philharmonic restores musicians’ pay that was cut during the pandemic

Posted on: June 14, 2022

The musicians of the New York Philharmonic and Music Director Jaap van Zweden.

“When the coronavirus pandemic erupted … forcing the New York Philharmonic to cancel a season, the orchestra worked to cut costs, slashing its musicians’ pay by 25 percent,” writes Javier C. Hernández in Monday’s (6/13) New York Times. “The Philharmonic promised at the time to reverse those cuts … once its financial outlook brightened. And on Monday, the orchestra announced it would do so in September, much earlier than expected…. Deborah Borda, the Philharmonic’s president and chief executive, said … government grants and loans, an increase in donations and better-than-expected ticket sales during the 2021-22 season made the decision possible…. In December 2020, the Philharmonic and its musicians agreed to a four-year contract that included 25 percent cuts to base pay … through August 2023…. In October, the Philharmonic began making payments to musicians to offset the pay cuts. But it was not until Monday that the orchestra vowed to fully restore musicians’ pay for the remainder of the contract. The trombonist Colin Williams, the head of the players’ negotiating committee, said … ‘We somehow weathered this incredibly traumatic time and have come out of it stronger and more cohesive than we were before.’ ”