Montreal Symphony Clarifies Position on Canceling Concerts

Classic Arts News   Montreal Symphony Clarifies Position on Canceling Concerts
Contrary to a report printed in the Montreal Gazette yesterday and summarized in this space, the Montreal Symphony's management remains concerned that it may have to cancel the initial concerts of the 2005-06 season because of the ongoing musicians' strike, an orchestra spokesperson told PlaybillArts.

According to the spokesperson, the Gazette report was based on a misinterpretation of a conversation intended to refute a report in Montreal's La Presse that the orchestra was considering canceling the entire season.

A second assertion in the Gazette article, that talks had come to a halt only because the mediator had gone on vacation, was also inaccurate, the spokesperson said. The mediator has in fact suspended the negotiations and has set no date for their resumption because the two sides remain so far apart. Again, the orchestra had intended only to refute the report in La Presse, which said that the mediator had withdrawn from the talks entirely.

The Gazette suggested that the orchestra had reversed positions expressed in a statement released last week, which read in part, "The union's intransigence and disregard for the issues facing the MSO may ultimately force us to cancel the first concerts of the new season....Given the gulf separating the two sides, we fully understand why the mediator saw no need to schedule any new negotiating sessions." In fact, the spokesman said, the MSO's positions have not changed.

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