Norwegian Musicians Strike Starting June 16

Classic Arts News   Norwegian Musicians Strike Starting June 16
The Oslo Philharmonic has canceled its planned appearances this month in Malaysia and Singapore because of a musicians' strike in Norway, the orchestra confirmed.

The Philharmonic was to appear at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in Kuala Lumpur on June 19 and 20 and at the Singapore Arts Festival on June 21 and 22. The program included music by Gisle Kverndokk, Johan Svendsen, Sibelius, Mahler, Shostakovich and Beethoven. Sarah Chang was to appear as soloist in Sibelius's Violin Concerto; Vassily Sinaisky was to conduct.

According to the Philharmonic, the Norwegian Musicians' Union has called a strike starting June 16. The strike also affects the Norwegian National Opera, the Bergen Philharmonic and other organizations around the country.

"The Musicians' Union is fighting for a raise in salaries, claiming that the salaries in the orchestras have not seen the same development over the last 10 years as other sectors in society," a statement from the Philharmonic read.

The Philharmonic said that a salary increase for musicians would require an increase in funding from the goverment: "Due to the fact that all the Norwegian orchestras are publicly funded, the demand from the Musicians' Union is also a political matter. We hope that everyone affected by the consequences of our cancellation understands that this situation is not in the control of the Oslo Philharmonic."

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