Montreal Symphony Strike Forces Cancellation of Season-Opening Concerts

Classic Arts News   Montreal Symphony Strike Forces Cancellation of Season-Opening Concerts
The Montreal Symphony has canceled the first four concerts of its 2005-06 season, acknowledging that there is not enough time to reach an agreement with striking musicians before the season opens on September 20.

The musicians have been on strike since May; talks broke down in August with the two sides at an impasse over work rules affecting tours and recordings.

At a board meeting today, according to a statement from the orchestra, "management was informed that it would be impossible to call the parties together soon enough to allow for reasonable hopes of a settlement in time for the September concerts to be presented.

"Management therefore finds itself compelled to send out the required cancellation notices for this month's engagements in good time," the statement continues. "This decision is also necessary to spare ticket holders the inconvenience linked to uncertainty surrounding the next few weeks' programming."

Concerts on September 20, 22, 27, and 28 have been canceled. The September 20 and 22 concerts were to feature baritone Jos_ van Dam and cellist Ralph Kirschbaum in a program of Don Quixote-themed music, including works by Ravel, Strauss, and Massenet. The performances on September 27 and 28 featured Spanish music by Ravel, Granados, Rodrigo, and others.

Representatives of the MSO will be contacting ticket holders to discuss their options. Ticket holders may also call the orchestra's customer service department at (514) 842-9951.

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