Baltimore musicians politely request seat at the table

Baltimore musicians politely request seat at the table


norman lebrecht

August 22, 2019

Locked-out musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra have petitioned the organisation to be included in talks about their future. It seems utterly medieval that they have no say in it.


The Baltimore Symphony Musicians met with management representatives of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra today for contract negotiations. The musicians proposed that the BSO emulate the models of other orchestras across the country that have achieved a major culture shift by including all of the stakeholders in the decision-making process, including, most notably, the musicians.

Brian Prechtl, Co-Chair of the BSO Players’ Committee, stated, “While we didn’t make substantial progress toward an agreement, we have agreed to meet again on Tuesday, August 27. The musicians are planning to bring a proposal to management at that time. The musicians have requested that BSO management continue health care coverage through the month of September while we work toward an agreement. We would consider it an act of good faith on management’s part to do so. We have also made it clear that we must have a new contract to return to the stage.”

On Friday, the work group mandated by HB 1404 will have its inaugural meeting in Annapolis, headed by former State Senator Ed Kasemeyer. “The musicians remain hopeful that we can begin the process of rebuilding the BSO following the devastating decision to lockout the orchestra,” Prechtl said.


  • Mick the Knife says:

    It should be a law that employers keep up employee’s medical insurance if there is a lock out.

  • R. Brite says:

    Anyone know whether Alsop is allowed any input, and if so what her position has been?

  • Larry says:

    HB 1404 passed the state house on May 25 and they have to make their report by October 1. Wonder why they’ are having the very first meeting in late August? Nevertheless, it is essential to have the musicians involved at every step.

  • david hilton says:

    There seems to be a disconnect between the headline and intro here, claiming that the Baltimore musicians are being denied a ‘place at the table’ and a say in the orchestra’s future . .. and the linked story and numerous other stories on this site (see June 23; June 27) which detail all the many meetings already conducted between the musicians and management. The article below also mentions a meeting scheduled for next week and possibly others. Were none of these meetings held around a table? were they in the hallway instead? or is there some other reason why it is claimed that the musicians who have been meeting with management all summer have been ‘denied a seat at the table.’ Perhaps they had to stand?

  • Horst says:

    In the introduction, it states, “It seems utterly medieval that they have no say in it.” I agree, but what many fail to realise is that they are in the U.S.A, which nowadays functions and behaves very much like a society right out of the Middle Ages. The world only looks and jaws drop in amazement at their rather primitive, and usually very childish, way of dealing with conflict and problems. Thank God that they have lost the respect of most of the developed world, as nobody should or would want to emulate their practices and behaviour.

  • NYMike says:

    A seat at the table means that musicians want to be on the board, something being done in other US orchestras leading to more successful outcomes.

  • Eli says:

    Can anyone tell me if the BSO musicians are still demanding nine weeks of paid vacation? Asking for a friend….