Breaking: Baltimore claims it has a deal

Breaking: Baltimore claims it has a deal


norman lebrecht

September 21, 2019

Here’s all we know so far:

Baltimore, MD Saturday, September 21, 2019 – The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Inc. (BSO) and Musicians’ Association of Metropolitan Baltimore, Local 40-543 reached tentative agreement on a proposed one-year contract last night.

If ratified by the Orchestra and by the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors, the proposed agreement would enable the Baltimore Symphony to open its concert season on Friday, September 27, 2019.
Details of the agreement will be released after it is ratified by both parties.

No word yet from the musicians. It looks like no winners here on either side.



  • Mick the Knife says:

    After negotiating for a year they get a 1 year contract? And then what? Following the lead of the US government in budgeting, which is total breakdown.

  • Paulette says:

    I hope the deal will be good for the musicians for now. And it may be temporary— But if they come back this next weekend—I really hope they can perform a composition by, or in honor of Christopher Rouse on that concert. He loved that orchestra.

  • Olassus says:

    One year? The organization is collapsing.

    • Aubrey Foard says:

      A point of order here: while a one year contract is by no means standard, it is nevertheless very common in orchestra negotiations.

    • Bruce says:

      Not necessarily. Both sides may have agreed that it’s better to keep limping along for now, and in a year things may look different. My orchestra (much smaller than Baltimore) went through a series of one-year contracts some years ago before returning to the more typical 3-to-4-year kind.

      Look for a lot of public awareness-raising by the musicians, and hopefully a lot of fund-raising by the board.

  • sam says:

    “no winners here on either side”

    What exactly is a “win” for the Board? What do you think the Board does with all the money they save from the musicians, distribute it among themselves?

    Every dollar saved gets reinvested into the orchestra. A dollar saved today is a dollar to spend next year. The orchestra always wins, when there’s a deal.

    • Mock Mahler says:

      Mr. Sam seems to be laboring under the quaint notion that American corporate managers and boards ‘work’ for free and get no benefits from what they set up. Yeah, right–and the rich pay more taxes than the rest of us too.

      • PaulD says:

        In the U.S., the rich do pay more income tax than the rest. Nearly half of all tax filers pay no income tax. The top 1 percent, which account for 20 percent of all income pays almost 40 percent of all income tax.

  • Alviano says:

    They all have a year to look for another job. I am very sad.

  • john weston says:

    Most polititions are behaving like spoilt brat schoolboys