Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fort Worth Symphony Musicians Protest Contract Offer

As reported on today, the Fort Worth Symphony contract negotiations are growing contentious. The musicians, who have been without a contract since August 1, silently protested management's proposed cuts on stage last weekend, although most audience members probably missed its significance.

Which is part of the point: it sounds as if the Fort Worth community just doesn't care very much. Concert sales are down $120,000, and the orchestra had to cancel a number of concerts this year. The municipal arts council sharply cut its funding as well.

The musicians are probably, as orchestra president Andrea Koonsman notes, out of touch with financial realities (including the lack of community support), but it's also worth looking at the way she and her team has overseen things. Last year, the orchestra lost $242,000 on a $11.9 million budget, according to the article. And they're paying their music director over $300,000.