St. Louis Symphony Asks Musicians to 'Play and Talk'‹For Less Money

Classic Arts News   St. Louis Symphony Asks Musicians to 'Play and Talk'‹For Less Money
 
The St. Louis Symphony asked musicians yesterday to return to work while contract talks continued, a day after musicians voted to reject the latest offer from management.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, however, if musicians returned they would make only the equivalent of $61,000 per year‹the base salary called for in their previous contract, which expired on January 2. Musicians had been making $73,900, but only because of $2 million in donations that had been made to supplement their salaries while the SLSO recovered from a financial crisis. Those gifts have now been exhausted.

"We thought we were getting [a new] offer," flutist Jan Gippo, a representative of the musicians, told the Post-Dispatch. "But it was just the same thing we already turned down."

The offer seemed in part an attempt to place responsibility with the union for the work stoppage, which has been called a lockout by musicians and a strike by management. "[SLSO president] Randy [Adams] asked them back to rehearse tomorrow, so this is definitely not a lockout," Jeff Trammel, an orchestra spokesman, said yesterday. "So far, we haven't had an official response. Hopefully, they will show up for rehearsal tomorrow."

Trammel's statement seemed a reversal of the position attributed to him in yesterday's Post-Dispatch, which reported that he said that musicians would not be allowed to rehearse today if a contract had not been signed.

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