Opening Its Season, Detroit Symphony Puts Off New Contract for Another Year

Classic Arts News   Opening Its Season, Detroit Symphony Puts Off New Contract for Another Year
Musicians and management at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra have agreed to extend their labor contract for a year with the same salaries and benefits, reports the Detroit Free Press.

The minimum salary in the orchestra will remain pegged at $1,900 per week or $98,800 per season, though many players make more.

The musicians accepted pay cuts in 2004 to help lessen the orchestra's $2 million deficit; in return, they received pay raises last season. The Free Press quotes figures from the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians that rank the DSO as 11th in the US in musicians' salaries in 2005-06.

Talks will resume later this fall, according to the paper, which observes that DSO management and musicians enjoy a "collegial relationship" and that in the past contract deadlines have passed without an agreement being reached.

The symphony's 2006-07 season opened on September 7 with a concert led by new principal guest conductor and artistic adviser Peter Oundjian, formerly first violinist with the Tokyo String Quartet and currently music director of the Toronto Symphony. The orchestra is still searching for a replacement for former music director Neeme J‹rvi, who stepped down in June 2005 after 15 years in the post.

Rafael Fr‹hbeck de Burgos, Hans Graf and Mark Wigglesworth will each guest-conduct for two weeks this season, according to the Free Press. J‹rvi will return for three weeks and resident conductor Thomas Wilkins will lead two weeks. In addition, Leonard Slatkin will conduct the DSO for the first time since 1987.

Recommended Reading: