Just in: US orch walks out on strike

Just in: US orch walks out on strike


norman lebrecht

September 08, 2016

Players in the Fort Worth Symphony walked out of rehearsal at 12.30 this afternoon after rejecting a ‘last, best offer’ to reduce their wages.

They were required to accept pay cuts of between two and 7.5 percent.

The wealthy Texas city seems unwilling to raise the funds to sustain a well-run symphony orchestra.


UPDATE: Drew McManus has good analysis here of the causes of the strike. It appears that the base salary for musicians is $54,000, and the organisation wants to cut back on that.

It’s Fort Worth less, from now on.


  • Doug says:

    The wealthy Texas city seems unwilling to raise the funds to sustain a well-run symphony orchestra.

    Is that anything like a “wealthy UK city unwilling to raise funds for a new hall”?

  • Amy Adams says:

    Actually, no one knows if the “wealthy Texas city” is willing or unwilling to raise funds, because the CEO, Amy Adkins, steadfastly clings to the notion that it won’t work….hence, cuts must be made. She’s burned through a handful of VPs of development since she took the helm in 2011 and has been singing the same tired song “Corporate Giving Is Down” for the last year.
    This board has around 80 people on it. Perhaps they’re all asleep. Perhaps she has decided to not ask them for help. In any case, she keeps looking to the musicians to solve the company’s problems,when she could simply look in the mirror.

  • mbhaz says:

    On the bright side, if there is one, the lead story on the Star-Telegram (Fort Worth’s major newspaper) website is about the strike. Off to the side and harder to find is a story about Glen Campbell no longer being able to play guitar. Where I live, the symphony story wouldn’t even appear, and Campbell would be higher up only after another irritating story about the beginning of the NFL season. So it appears that the Fort Worth residents have a paper that still cares about symphonic music.

  • Cyril Blair says:

    “The wealthy Texas city seems unwilling to raise the funds to sustain a well-run symphony orchestra.”

    With oil prices falling, perhaps their portfolios have shrunk.

    • Robert Holmén says:

      That may indeed be a big part of it, along with the generally non-booming recovery.

      Add in the close proximity of the Dallas Symphony, next door, attracting area donor dollars.

      Ft. Worth is not a very large city, it has a population of only 800K compared to Dallas’ 1.3M

  • BillG says:

    Some of the rumors floating around involve the Bass Family. The Bass had been a big supporter of all arts in Ft Worth. The Bass family is Texas oil rich going back a generation or two.

    I have been unable to verify any of this, therefore I’ll leave it as a rumor.
    The Wife of Sid Bass was the one pushing support of the arts. After the split she moved to New York. She apparently had been on the board of the Met for a while. When she left Ft Worth the Bass support to the FT Worth Symphony dropped off.

    There used to be a joke in Dallas about nuevo riche from the oil patch. Wife to Husband – I’d like to donate a million to the symphony. Husband to Wife – that’s fine as long as you don’t make me go to any of the performances.

    Final, closing caveat – the above (except the joke) is based upon rumor.