Montreal Symphony Says Nagano Concerts Will Go Forward

Classic Arts News   Montreal Symphony Says Nagano Concerts Will Go Forward
Kent Nagano's first concerts as the Montreal Symphony's music director designate will be performed as planned, after musicians agreed to "suspend their pressure tactics," the orchestra announced.

The MSO had threatened to cancel the concerts, from March 30 through April 6, because of fears that musicians would stage a public protest at them. The musicians, who have been playing without a contract since August 2003, have previously skipped rehearsals and worn red union t-shirts in protest of management's position.

Despite this gesture of good will, an orchestra spokesperson said in a statement, "intensive negotiations" this week failed to produce any progress toward a new contract. Management has asked musicians to accept changes in work rules in order to make touring and recording less expensive.

The MSO has been without a music director since Charles Dutoit resigned abruptly after musicians accused him of autocratic behavior. The appointment of Nagano as his successor, announced last year after more than a year of speculation that he was the orchestra's top choice, was considered a coup and was greeted with joy by musicians. He will assume the post officially in the fall of 2006.

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