Pittsburgh Symphony strike: first picture and why it came to this

Pittsburgh Symphony strike: first picture and why it came to this


norman lebrecht

September 30, 2016


photo (c) Slippedisc.com (right-click to enlarge)

Negotiations broke down last night with President/CEO Melia Tourangeau and her team and musicians began picketing Heinz Hall before 10 am this morning.

It is only the second strike in the orchestra’s history; the last was a six-week walkout in 1975.

But this is a tough one. The musicians are resisting a new round of pay cuts. The orchestra is saying it’s broke. The veteran supporters are sitting on their hands.

The PSO gave its ‘last, best and final’ offer on September 18. Since then, federal mediators have tried to broker a compromise but Tourangeau refused to budge last night from her September 18 position, rendering mediation pointless. The musicians walked out and declared a strike.



  • Tyrone Shulace says:

    Pity they aren’t a municipality — they would have bonds they can default on.

  • John Hayhurst says:

    This is a disgrace, the reputation the musicians of the Pittsburgh symphony and past management have worked so hard for.- to no longer be considered in the shadows of other great orchestras , and to be considered one of the best orchestra jobs in the country – is about to be obliterated by this irrational and ignorant management. An orchestra is not a factory, it is a cultural treasure. Thie entire city benefits from this orchestra’s achievement. This is the time for any caring member of the board to immediately put a stop to this madness.

  • Olassus says:

    Why don’t they cut overhead in the administration? Examples:

    — eliminate 20% of admin positions
    — cap salaries at $160,000
    — cut all salaries above $100,000 by 20%
    — cut salaries above $80,000 by 10%
    — end unfunded education programs
    — focus fundraising on donors of $200+
    — simplify catering
    — cancel touring, broadcasting, CDs
    — stop paid advertising of single concerts
    — source soloists without big agents
    — drop programs needing multiple soloists
    — slash admin travel