From Melissa Kleinbart, Chair of the Players Committee of the San Francisco Symphony:
‘On behalf of the musicians of the San Francisco Symphony, I am so happy that we are able to be here to support our colleagues in the Chicago Symphony during this really difficult time.
‘We are outraged that their Board of Trustees and their management has treated them so poorly as one of the greatest orchestras in this world. They have treated them with a total lack of respect, a lack of vision for investment in the future of this organization.
‘We are here to show our solidarity and to say, ‘Please reconsider your position before you do serious damage to the cultural fabric of this city.’
‘I’ve been so moved by the support of Chicagoans that I have seen on the street and at the concert last evening: the feeling in the hall was amazing. People had rapt attention. There were children there. There wasn’t a sound in the hall except for the music. Just the feeling of the craving for this music was palpable during this concert.
‘This is one of the greatest orchestras in the world. They should be celebrated. They should be treated with utmost respect instead of having one of their most important top benefits trying to be decimated. That is one of the biggest recruitment tools that an orchestra needs to be able to recruit young, excellent players from around the world. This is absolutely outrageous and we hope that this entire community will put as much pressure as possible on the Board of Trustees and the administration to try to talk some sense into them.
‘So, on behalf of my colleagues, I would like to present this check in the amount of fifteen thousand dollars. This is from the musicians of the San Francisco Symphony and it is the least that we can do to try to help our colleagues get through this difficult time.
‘I would also just like to say that we are so grateful in San Francisco that our Board has finally come to realize how important collaboration with the musicians is. They finally respect that we need to keep a defined pension benefit plan and they worked closely with us in searching for our music director designate Esa-Pekka Salonen. If that can be of any example to the Chicago Symphony Board, please take a look at how well things are working for us. We hope that can spread instead of the negativity spreading.’