Baltimore Symphony deadline expires

Baltimore Symphony deadline expires


norman lebrecht

January 16, 2019

The management wants to cut the musicians’ contract from 52 weeks to 40. The two sides are still talking, but it looks like they have reached deadlock.

Here’s what the musicians tell us:


The four-month contract extension between the management of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Corporation and its musicians represented by American Federation of Musicians Local 40-543 expired last night at midnight. The BSO management expressed no desire to extend the contract in writing.

The musicians are fighting in these negotiations to preserve the institution’s identity as a 52-week major orchestra. Our priorities are focused on maintaining a competitive compensation and benefit package that will allow the organization to attract and retain high caliber musicians, on maintaining and improving the health and safety of our musicians, and on empowering the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to bring transcendent performances to audiences in Maryland and beyond.

The BSO management has asked for drastic reductions in the structure of the organization from 52 to 40 weeks. This alone would result in a 20% loss in annual salary and benefits to the musicians. This destructive direction would damage the Baltimore Symphony for generations to come.

The Baltimore Symphony Musicians will continue playing on stage at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall and at the Music Center at Strathmore at the highest professional level for our audiences unless management locks us out or unilaterally stops respecting contract terms.



  • Moone Beames says:

    Tragically, Baltimore is a failed municipality. Evidently not nearly enough affirmative action.

    • Bill says:

      Affirmative action has nothing to do with it. Generations of racism and corruption do, though.

      Watch the television show “The Wire” and you could learn something instead of falling back on the old racist tropes.

  • Mock Mahler says:

    Let me recommend going to the website and looking at Overture magazine (drop down from About). Here you will find BSO management trumpeting their successful fund-raising campaigns at the same time that they are poor-mouthing their musicians.
    Truly shameless, BSO management has dropped the long-standing final-page feature of a musician and replaced it with more donors.

  • Mark london says:

    Well it’s either accepting 40 weeks or employing new musicians ! That’s the way the orchestra survives