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Home » Orchestra News » Musicians Make Concessions to Help Organizations Bridge Challenges

Musicians Make Concessions to Help Organizations Bridge Challenges


Musicians at many orchestras continue to make sacrifices amid the pandemic to assist their organizations in weathering this difficult time.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra is reporting $10 million in revenue losses from the cancellations of 130 events, including its tour of Asia. Its musicians—members of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA)—have agreed to pay cuts through the end of August, averaging 25% per player. Musicians have offered to restructure their vacation time for the next two years. Also, adjusted media language will allow the orchestra to use archival concert footage while live concerts are unable to happen. The media language reached is part of an agreement with the AFM.

Musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra—represented by Local 4 (Cleveland, OH)—took a 20% pay cut in April and May, and will take a 30% cut for June through September. The organization has launched a $6 million fundraising campaign to help fill in the revenue gap, with $3 million already pledged by board trustees.

At the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, musicians—represented by Local 5 (Detroit, MI)—have agreed to a 20% pay cut through August as well as adjusted work rules that will allow for additional summer performances—should health guidelines and trends make that possible.

The San Francisco Symphony expects $5.4 million in losses from canceled events. Pay cuts taken across the organization between April 19 and September 5 average 25%. San Francisco Symphony musicians are members of Local 6 (San Francisco, CA).

At each organization, staff members are sharing in the burden, also taking salary cuts and in some cases experiencing layoffs or furloughs.

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