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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (May 20, 2015) – Utah Symphony | Utah Opera (USUO) and the musicians of the Utah Symphony have reached an agreement on a new three-year contract, which the musicians and board ratified more than three months before the current contract expires and the Utah Symphony’s 75th anniversary season begins.

The new agreement, which goes into effect on September 1, 2015 and runs through August 31, 2018, continues a 52-week contract for 85 musicians and will see the musicians’ base salary increase an average of 3.5 percent each year over the next three seasons. Additionally, the contract allows for increased scheduling flexibility for tours and education programming, new opportunities for summer concert scheduling, updated chamber music language that enables Utah Symphony musicians to perform under contract in new ways and changes to the tenure and audition process. The contract also provides the musicians an annual media guarantee to implement a new recording and broadcasting plan.

“The musicians and management of the Utah Symphony collaborated to craft a progressive contract that ensures the continued artistic growth of this great orchestra, and I was pleased to be part of this process,” said David Porter, a violinist who has played with the orchestra for nearly two decades and chaired the musicians’ negotiating committee. “It will allow us to retain the impressive talent we have and to continue to attract great musicians to Utah’s flagship artistic organization.”
“I’m proud of the successful outcome of these efforts and grateful for the musicians’ cooperation and support in ratifying this agreement early,” stated Melia Tourangeau, outgoing USUO President & CEO. “Under the guidance of Federal Mediator Kevin Hawkins, we were able to have productive discussions and build a level of trust I’ve never before experienced during contract talks. As we move into the 75th anniversary of the Utah Symphony, the focus can now be on the celebration of this important milestone and the ambitious future beyond.”

“The musicians are a critical part of our organization’s outreach and success in the community, and the entire board appreciates their dedication and talent. I’m pleased the agreement came together very organically and collaboratively with great expediency thanks to everyone involved,” said Board Chair Dave Petersen. “The unified front demonstrated by the board, administration and musicians is a testament to the strength and commitment of our organization, and I’m proud to be involved in this as we embark upon our 75th anniversary celebrations.”

The negotiation committee for the orchestra included violinist Mr. Porter (chair), Associate Principal Cello Matthew Johnson (co-chair), Principal Percussion Keith Carrick, violist Julie Edwards and violinist Rebekah Johnson. Senior Vice President and COO David Green led the negotiation on behalf of the administration for Utah Symphony | Utah Opera on a committee which also involved Ms. Tourangeau and Vice President of Symphony Operations and General Manager Jeff Counts. A federal mediator was involved to help formulate a cooperative approach to the negotiations.

About the Utah Symphony
The Utah Symphony, founded in 1940, performs more than 175 concerts each season and offers all Utahns easy access to live musical performances of the world’s greatest music in the state’s top venues.

Thierry Fischer was named the Orchestra’s seventh Music Director in 2009 and has attracted leading musicians to join the orchestra and top soloists to come to Utah, refreshed the programming, drawn consistently full houses, and galvanized community support. In addition to numerous regional and domestic tours, including most recently the Mighty 5® Tour of Utah’s National Parks, it has embarked on seven international tours and will perform at Carnegie Hall in spring 2016 coinciding with the Orchestra’s 75th anniversary celebrations. The Utah Symphony has released more than 100 recordings during its history, including an upcoming fall 2015 release of Mahler Symphony No. 1 on Reference Records. Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the orchestra’s parent organization, reaches 450,000 residents in Utah and the Intermountain region, with educational outreach programs serving more than 155,000 students annually. In addition to the many performances in its home in Salt Lake City, Maurice Abravanel Symphony Hall, and numerous concerts throughout the state of Utah, the Utah Symphony participates in Utah Opera’s four annual productions at the Janet Quinney Lawson Capitol Theatre and presents the six-week Deer Valley® Music Festival each summer in Park City, Utah. With its many subscription, education, and outreach concerts and tours the Utah Symphony is one of the most engaged orchestras in the nation. For more information visit www.utahsymphony.org.

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