What musicians get out of the Baltimore deal? $81k

What musicians get out of the Baltimore deal? $81k


norman lebrecht

September 24, 2019

A late correction has been issued to the one-year peace deal between the Baltimore Symphony and its musicians.

It reads: ‘The original press release had a misleading salary figure. This one-year agreement guarantees a annual base salary of $81,438.50.’

Other than that, nothing has changed. The BSO will continues to push for cutting its contract to a 40-week year. The musicians will go back to the wire next summer. There will be another stand-off.

Not a good way to inspire confidence in an ensemble.


  • MacroV says:

    It’s a real shame. They are a terrific orchestra, but in a town that may simply not have the resources to support them, even with their second (and lovely) home in Strathmore, which lets them “compete” (and quite effectively) with the NSO.

  • EagleArts says:

    Perhaps residents of wealthier outlying counties would be willing to support the arts in Baltimore one the lines of the Detroit Institute of Arts CountyMillage Tax from 2012?

    “The millage tax takes advantage of the fact that the vast majority of the institute’s 400,000 yearly visitors — 79 percent — live in one of the three counties. The 0.2-mill tax will last for 10 years and will cost each homeowner approximately $15 a year for every $150,000 of a home’s fair market value, according to a fact sheet put out by the arts institute. A designated tax to support the Detroit Zoo was approved by county voters in 2008.”


  • Bruce says:

    There won’t necessarily be another standoff. Often these disputes are engineered by a faction of the board that wants to reduce — or end — the orchestra, and their actions wake up the rest of the board to the fact that they really do want the orchestra to survive and even thrive.

    This “Vision Committee” may actually accomplish something. It’s possible that not every member of the board is a music-hating idiot.

    Remember when the Minnesota dispute ended, several board members left along with the guy in charge (forgot his name).

    If it happens, that creates vacancies on the board that can (not will, but can) be filled by people who are inspired by recent events to join the board and work to save the orchestra.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      The other thing that happens if there are disputes and temporary fixes, is that some of the better and younger musicians start moving on to other jobs (and ambitious musicians decline to audition). Slowly, over time, the orchestra declines.

  • Karl says:

    What musicians get out of the Baltimore deal? A year to look for another job.

  • astroman says:

    The orchestra sounded great and played with tremendous commitment last season. I think public support will help keep up their morale.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      Astroman writes: I think public support will help keep up their morale.”

      That doesn’t pay the bills. The orchestra need money and some kind of plan rather than platitudes.