Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Extends Current Contract
with Musicians through 2016-17 Season
Agreement Reached Three Months Early; Musicians Receive Salary Increase
Baltimore, Md. (June 14, 2016) – The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO), celebrating its Centennial this year, announced today the extension of the current contract between the Association and members of Local 40-543 of the American Federation of Musicians. The new collective bargaining agreement, settled three months before the current agreement was due to expire, will go into effect on September 12, 2016 and will extend through September 10, 2017. The agreement extends by one year the previous three-year contract, which ends September 11, 2016. The only amendment to the contract specifies a salary increase, with musicians receiving a 1.33% raise on September 12, 2016 and a 2.63% increase beginning May 1, 2017. The minimum weekly scale rises to $1,560 by the end of the 2016-17 season, and the annual salary will increase from $75,024 in the current season to $79,800 by the end of the 2016-17 season for probationary and tenured musicians, representing an increase of 6.4% over the current base salary by the end of next season.
The successful settlement of the contract and the terms demonstrates a commitment by both parties to uphold the BSO’s long tradition of artistic excellence while maintaining fiscal responsibility.
“We are in the process of searching for a new President & CEO, and both the board and our musicians recognized that to attract the best candidate and to give that person the best possible circumstances to hit the ground running, it would be better to not have an immediately impending contract negotiation” said BSO Board Chair Barbara Bozzuto. “Many American orchestras have been experiencing tense and interminable negotiations, and we are grateful to our musicians for their collegiality in coming to the table early, for recognizing the need to maintain stability, and for coming to agreement three months before the current contract was due to expire. Our orchestra is one of Maryland’s greatest cultural treasures, and with this agreement, we will be able to keep the music going without interruption.”
“BSO musicians and the BSO board have been able to find mutual interest in reaching a cooperative agreement for the sake of the institution in this time of transition,” said Greg Mulligan, a violinist in the orchestra, and Chairman of the Players’ Committee. “We musicians are very appreciative of the hard work Barbara Bozzuto and members of the BSO board are doing on behalf of the institution, and of their dedication to keeping the BSO competitive artistically and financially. This agreement continues the progress we have made over the last few years towards filling the orchestra’s vacancies and restoring compensation levels.”
“I applaud the work of the BSO’s management team and the musicians for this agreement,” said BSO Music Director Marin Alsop. “The BSO musicians are among the finest in the world, and I am grateful to the board of directors and everyone involved in recognizing the importance of sustaining this wonderful orchestra during our 100th anniversary.”
“The team that manages the day-to-day operations of the Baltimore Symphony is in a time of transition. Our musicians and the BSO’s board of trustees recognize this,” said Mary Plaine, Secretary-Treasurer, Local 40-543, AFM. “Through strong leadership on both sides of the table, the parties have shown a willingness to cooperate for the greater good of the organization. The people who ultimately benefit from this partnership are our patrons. The musicians are grateful to the BSO’s board in recognizing that our ensemble needs to be protected and nurtured.”
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About the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
Celebrating its centennial in 2016, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is recognized as one of America’s most important and innovative orchestras and as one of Maryland’s most significant cultural organizations. Led by the dynamic and visionary Maestra Marin Alsop, the Orchestra is internationally acclaimed and locally admired for its outstanding concerts, recordings, broadcasts, touring, and for its groundbreaking education and community outreach initiatives. The orchestra’s centennial season is a celebration of Baltimore, featuring artists with deep relationships with the ensemble and the community; partnerships with peer organizations; signature projects; and commissions of new work tied to the city. The BSO annually performs for more than 350,000 people throughout the State of Maryland. Since 1982, its Baltimore home has been Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, and in 2005, the BSO became the nation’s first orchestra with year-round venues in two metropolitan areas with the opening of The Music Center at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland. The BSO boasts trailblazing education and community programs designed for audiences of all ages, from a Music Box Series for toddlers and concerts for schoolchildren and families, to comprehensive programs for aspiring young musicians and amateur adult musicians. The award-winning OrchKids program, launched by Marin Alsop and the BSO in 2008, provides education resources and fosters social change through the power of music for children in the city’s neediest communities.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is funded by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.
The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is also supported by the Citizens of Baltimore County
and Baltimore City.