Los Angeles Philharmonic Musicians Get Raise in New Contract

Classic Arts News   Los Angeles Philharmonic Musicians Get Raise in New Contract
The musicians and management of the Los Angeles Philharmonic have signed a new four-year contract that will make the musicians among the highest-paid in the country, the Philharmonic announced.

The contract goes into effect on September 19 and runs through September 2009.

In the fourth year of the contract, the minimum salary will be $2,445 per week, or $127,140 per year, up from $105,300 last season. (By contrast, Boston Symphony musicians will make $112,840 this season, in the last year of a four-year contract. New York Philharmonic musicians will make $107,120 this season and $112,060 next season.)

Representatives of both sides said that the talks had been amicable. "In a collegial atmosphere, the parties frankly discussed their objectives, jointly studied the facts, and openly negotiated the far-reaching changes that create the artistic and fiscal platform for the Los Angeles Philharmonic's inspiring future," said Hal Espinosa, president of the local musicians' union.

Orchestra president Deborah Borda said, "The work we have done together in such an open, collaborative fashion has allowed the musicians to achieve goals which were important to them. At the same time, this agreement helps to secure the association's artistic and institutional health for the years ahead."

Although the contract raises the base salary, it lowers the Philharmonic's heath-care and touring costs and calls for musicians to donate their services to fundraising concerts. Musicians also agreed to local radio broadcasts, more scheduling flexibility, and a reduction of the total size of the ensemble from 105 to 103, to be achieved through attrition. Also included are newly streamlined audition, hiring, and tenure processes.

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