12 Pittsburgh strikers are playing this week in the New York Philharmonic

12 Pittsburgh strikers are playing this week in the New York Philharmonic


norman lebrecht

November 10, 2016

Message from the striking PSO musicians:



It’s PSO week in New York. twelve(!!!) of our current members and two of our former members are performing with the New York Philharmonic this week. Thank you to the Musicians of the New York Philharmonic for hosting us!! Shanshan Yao Erina Laraby Goldwasser Allie Thompson Marylène Gingras RoyRobert Langevin, flutist Joe Campagna Kelsey Blumenthal Susanne Park Andrew Wickesberg Brandon Mclean Mark Huggins Jeremy Black Charlie Powers John Moore

The implication is that some of these players are looking to leave the strikebound PSO.


  • nobleviola says:

    I think the actual implication is that they need to work to earn money while on strike.

  • NYMike says:

    The NY Phil (and other orchestras) often take in subs from striking orchestras to fill temporary vacancies. They did so during the MN Orchestra lockout, as did St. Louis, Chicago and Cleveland. We will hear them this weekend with Trifonov and Jurowski.

  • Itsjtime says:

    The freelance musicians who are losing their work in ny?!!!!
    ALWAYS treated like crap!
    A lot of these subs work really hard endearing themselves to philharmonic players who act like the keepers of the holy grail. Not to mention these hard working “grinders” often sound much better than the “take it for granted, checks in the mail” genius players of the world famous New York David Geffen orchestra.

    • Bruce says:

      I remember a friend who’s a freelancer in Pittsburgh saying the same thing happened during the Minnesota strike. Pittsburgh hired a number of MN players as subs, leaving the locals out in the cold, at least for that week. It’s hard when you can’t help one without hurting another.

    • NYMike says:

      One wonders if you’re actually in NY since the Phil sub list consists of B’way show players and tenured musicians from some of the other per-service with minimum guaranties orchestras in NY. Can the sour grapes attitude.

  • Midwesternertoo says:

    Can the sour grapes???? Ny Mike, it sounds a bit like you may be a Midwest transplant not “home grown talent” from NY. Anyhow, to you, Mr. provincial prince of darkness from the pit:
    It’s the THEORY OF DISPLACEMENT. It has nothing to do with your assertion about where the New York freelancers play. It’s about the FACT that subs in any orchestra in the world work hard through back channeling, ass kissing and other demeaning non musical gauntlets just to work without a contract. When they are not used anymore they are displaced. Wouldn’t it be a nice world If they were displaced by the people working tirelessly in that same environment? Compassion, maybe?
    Are you a sub in the NYPHIL or are you am a master of your domain, a musician who has climbed to the top of the artistic mountain through the truest test of musicianship: the holy audition.
    Don’t know about how it feels in NY, specifically, but working without a contract in any case is a pretty shaky existence. Especially if your dying to jump in on , say, doubling the loud parts.

  • Itsjtime says:

    Ok, I will try this again. You don’t have to be a supply-side economic theorist to get this…. when the free lancers at the top of the “food chain” are displaced by out of towners it looks like this:
    The Group *A* freelancers leave their other “semi guaranteed position” to sub at (in this case) NyPhil.
    Thus Group *B* freelancers move up to sub in the Group A* freelance spots.
    Thus the Group *C* freelancers move up to take Group B* spots.
    –Since there is a finite amount of work, when group *A* positions are taken by musicians from out of town—group *C* musicians will BE OUT OF WORK.
    This is not sour grapes…
    BTW – ” can the sour grapes” Is not something an indigenous New Yorker would ever say.

    • NYMike says:

      “BTW – ” can the sour grapes” Is not something an indigenous New Yorker would ever say.”

      As my moniker suggests, I AM not only an indigenous New Yorker, but a retired professional musician and union activist both 802 and AFM. In NY, this game of musical chairs rotates mostly among those who are working, not those standing on the sidelines desiring to work.I stand by my former statements.

      • NYMike says:

        Perhaps JTime and Midwesterntoo are not aware of the five player conferences under the AFM banner – three of them having to do with symphony musicians and one each of recording and theater musicians. ICSOM (International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians) the one in question in the above-mentioned orchestras has a compact (as do the others) about helping each other out in case of strikes/lockouts, including sending thousands of dollars to their stricken comrades as well as hiring each other when possible.

        While I may sympathize with the “grinders” who lose work, that’s the way this works. BTW, characterizing the grinders @ the NY Phil (who may not exist) as better than the contracted “geniuses” is sheer poppycock.

  • Jason says:

    It is sad when striking musician take the spots of freelance musicians. As if striking musicians need to pay grocery and mortgages bills before freelance musicians.

    In many orchestras the members of the orchestra are upset about this as well. They understand the needs of freelancers, and many of their spouses or friends are top call subs who know are out the money.