Symphony, musicians reach agreement; Abbreviated '13 season planned

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    The Delaware Symphony Orchestra and Local 21 of the American Federation of Musicians Inc. of Delaware have reached an agreement that will enable the DSO to resume full orchestra performances as the musicians and the DSO work on a longer-term agreement. Terms were not disclosed, although an officer of the musician’s union said it did involve significant cuts.

    bass at intermission - HDR
    haglundc / Foter / CC BY-NC

    The symphony had earlier canceled its season, due to severe financial problems.

    “I am extremely pleased that we have reached a resolution for this season that will help move the Delaware Symphony Orchestra to firmer financial ground,” said Tatiana Copeland, who chairs the DSO board  “Ultimately, we all want the same thing, and that is to have an artistically excellent and financially stable orchestra that serves the Delaware Valley region for generations to come.”

    “The love and support shown to the musicians from the community since the season was suspended in June has kept us all going,” says Cheryl Everill, chair of the DSO Players’ Committee. “With the signing of this agreement, we are eager and excited to get back on stage and share our passion for live symphonic music with our audience.”

    The new agreement allows the DSO to move forward with plans for an abbreviated 2012-2013 season of Classical Series concerts, which tentatively are scheduled to begin in late January 2013. The series likely will feature three concerts, each of which will be performed twice, at venues including the Grand Opera House and the Laird Performing Arts Center at Tatnall School. The DSO’s four-concert Chamber Series, which began on October 9 and is sold out, is not affected by the agreement.

    “As part of our relaunch, we have instituted new fiscal controls, implemented cost-cutting measures, and reduced and realigned staff,” said Diana Milburn, DSO General Manager. “Securing the new agreement was a crucial step in our ongoing efforts to restructure in a way that balances our commitment to world-class music making with the economic realities of operating in a prolonged recessionary environment.”

    “The dedicated and talented DSO musicians appreciate the dire financial situation the symphony finds itself in,” says Glenn Finnan, secretary/treasurer, American Federation of Musicians, Local 21. “We know there are resources in the area to support the type of orchestra Delaware deserves: one worthy of attracting and retaining the finest musicians in the region. By accepting a significant reduction in income this season, our musicians hope this one-year agreement gives DSO management the breathing room to reinvigorate that support.”

    “Reaching this agreement demonstrates the willingness of our musicians to confront our challenges head on and collaborate on ways to overcome them,” said David Amado, DSO music director and conductor. “Our musicians are enormously talented, and it is an immense privilege to work with them. I am excited that we will be able to make music together soon, and share with audiences the love we have for our art and the passion we have for our work.”

    Specific terms of the new agreement, which expires on May 31, 2013, were not disclosed. The DSO and Local 21 will continue to negotiate a longer-term agreement.

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