Philadelphia Orchestra Launches Strike at Opening Night Gala

As reported by the New York Times, one of the top five orchestras in the United States, the Philadelphia Orchestra made a firm statement when members of the renowned symphony refused to play the scheduled concert for the season's opening night gala. Although both the artists and the spokespeople for the orchestra attempted to reach a deal right up until showtime, the artists did not feel that an appropriate agreement was made, and chose to take to the picket line, instead of to the orchestra pit.

Following a period of severe financial stress for the company, including the file of bankruptcy, the primary issue raised by the musicians was that of their salary, which has been subject to increasing cuts over the past several years, placing them below the pay bracket of other top symphony orchestras in the country. The organization offered the symphony members a 2 percent increase each of the next three years, the artists did not feel this fell in line with their value, which led to the strike at the gala; consequently, the concert for the event was cancelled, but a scheduled dinner was offered to attendees.

Members of both the orchestra and the organization have stated that they are committed to finding an agreement that mutually benefits both parties, especially in this time of continued financial uncertainty for the classical music world.

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