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February 1, 2016IM -
The musicians of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra (HSO) have voted to accept a wage concession agreement that management claims is necessary to save the orchestra. Management had threatened that, if the musicians had not voted to accept $450,000 in wage concessions by midnight, January 18, it would shut down the symphony.
“There are several causes for our orchestra’s problems, some recent and some that go back a long time,” says HSO oboist and ROPA delegate Steve Wade. “It took four hours of searching, in depth discussion to talk through the contract proposal and what it means at the musicians’ meeting. There was anger, passion, and extraordinary insight in what our players said. I’m in awe of my colleagues. The vote was by no means unanimous. It’s hard to call our new agreement a win, but at the very least a bright spotlight is now shining on issues in the management and the board that have been hidden for some time.”
As part of the concession HSO Music Director and Conductor Carolyn Kuan agreed to reduce her salary commensurate to the cut the musicians were asked to accept. In a statement, the musicians thanked the Hartford community for its support and vowed to “continue playing at the highest professional level and in a manner that the people of Greater Hartford have rightly come to expect from their flagship orchestra.”