Louisville Orchestra Agrees to Mediator

Classic Arts News   Louisville Orchestra Agrees to Mediator
Musicians and administrators of the embattled Louisville Orchestra, which is facing bankruptcy, will attempt to jumpstart stalled talks over a management-backed reorganization with the help of a mediator, reports the Louisville Courier-Journal.

Richard M. Cisek, a former executive director of the Minnesota Orchestra, will participate in sessions scheduled for this weekend. Cisek, who supported Louisville Orchestra executive director Scott Provancher's appointment, is liked by both the musicians and administration.

Clarinetist Tim Zavadil, head of the Louisville Orchestra Musicians Committee, told the Courier-Journal that Cisek is "somebody who'll be very helpful for the mediation process."

On February 8, Provancher told the LO's 71 full-time players that they must reduce their numbers in order for the orchestra to avoid bankruptcy. Unsurprisingly, this was not a popular suggestion; talks have since stalled.

The orchestra faces a projected $500,000 deficit this year; on January 30, the board said that the orchestra may be forced to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in early April. The current musicians' contract expires September 1.

In early February the musicians sent a letter to management saying that they would accept a two-year wage freeze in order to head off bankruptcy, as well as drop a previous demand for health care for their dependents, but the offer was rejected by management.

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