Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Musicians Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

September 21, 2019

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony Musicians Reach Tentative Contract Agreement

Collective bargaining is ongoing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and its musicians. Efforts continue to make progress but unfortunately we do want to share at this time that the Season Preview Concert, scheduled for Saturday, September 21 at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, has been canceled.

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Season Preview Concert Canceled as Collective Bargaining Continues

September 19, 2019

Season Preview Concert Canceled as Collective Bargaining Continues

Collective bargaining is ongoing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and its musicians. Efforts continue to make progress but unfortunately we do want to share at this time that the Season Preview Concert, scheduled for Saturday, September 21 at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, has been canceled.

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Frequently Asked Questions About the Baltimore Symphony’s Contract Negotiations

Updated September 13, 2019

We know this is a difficult time and the intensity of our discussions only reiterate what we know at our core – that the power of music is undeniable, and that the BSO is a beloved and important cultural anchor for our community and our region. We hope the information compiled below will help provide additional context and clarity on what is certainly a complex and long-evolving situation.

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Important Message from the BSO

September 10, 2019

Dear Donors, Subscribers and Friends of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra,

I would like to update you on negotiations with our musicians as we look forward to opening our new season. As of September 9, 2019, the BSO has lifted the lockout and urges our musicians to come back to work.

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Here’s how three American orchestras beset by many of the same problems facing the BSO managed to come back

By Mary Carole McCauley
August 2, 2019

The Phoenix Symphony, once one week away from bankruptcy, defied the odds. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which endured a six-month strike by musicians, beat back defeat. The Minnesota Orchestra, forced to cancel its entire 2012-13 season, climbed out of its coffin. These musical organizations represent three of the great comeback stories among contemporary U.S. orchestras. They faced and overcame financial challenges as potentially lethal as those now besetting the cash-strapped Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

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Why is it so hard to keep an orchestra afloat? The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is not alone in its woes.

By Mary Carole McCauley
August 2, 2019

Eighty-one of the world’s top classical musicians were locked out of symphony hall during a rancorous labor dispute. Donors deserted in droves. Faced with a massive deficit, the symphony’s board of directors raided the endowment and demanded hefty pay cuts. The public sided with the musicians. The orchestra’s imminent death was widely prophesied. And yet, nearly seven years later the Minnesota Orchestra is thriving.

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Endowment chair: BSO musicians are the best, but we can’t ignore financial woes

By Chris Bartlett
July 17, 2019

First and foremost, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Endowment Trust wants the organization to survive. That is why we invest our personal time and make our own contributions to the long-term future of orchestral music in our community. This has been the purpose of the Endowment Trust since its charter was established, and there has been no change in our mission.

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Financial Information

The BSO has made its FY2017 and FY2018 public form 990s as well as the most recent audited financial statements available.

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Important Update About Collective Bargaining from the BSO

June 16, 2019

The Board of Directors of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra approved a lockout of the organization’s musicians, Local 40-543, if an agreement between the musicians and management was not reached by the end of the regular subscription season. With no agreement reached, the lockout will go into effect on Monday, June 17, 2019.

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BSO board members: Responsible decisions will save the symphony

June 14, 2019

As members of the Executive Committee of the Board of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, we are very committed to the organization, which is why we give our dedication, our time and financial support. The BSO stands at a crossroads. After over a century of producing the finest classical music, financial realities are significantly affecting our organization. We must change in order to survive.

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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Announces Fiscal Reform, Improvement Efforts

May 30, 2019

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) today announced that it has reaffirmed the plan to reform and improve fiscal operations, including renewal of the contract proposal to adjust the season from 52 weeks to 40 weeks. As a result, the BSO is cancelling its summer 2019 concerts, beginning with its New Music Festival that was scheduled to start June 19.

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Meyerhoff: To survive in its current form, the BSO needs a much bigger endowment — now

February 28, 2019

The issues facing the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra are daunting. Typical of large orchestras in the U.S., ticket sales cover only one-third of all operating costs. The BSO’s classical music concerts have an average attendance of less than 60 percent over the last three years. Low attendance is a significant contributor to annual losses of between $1.5 million and $3 million a year. These figures take into account the maximum annual support allowed by law from the Baltimore Symphony Endowment Trust, of which I am a member.

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BSO endowment trust can no longer make up funding gap

By Chris Bartlett
January 24, 2019

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is a beloved cultural institution. The BSO musicians are among the best in the country, and we are fortunate to have them living and performing in our city and state. Every member of the BSO Endowment Trust Board, which I chair, wants to ensure that our orchestra can continue to thrive and perform at the highest level for generations to come. No one is more committed to “saving our symphony.”

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BSO Proposal Information

December 6, 2018 

The Baltimore Symphony’s proposal to our musicians reflects the thoughtful analysis undertaken by the BSO’s management and Board of Directors to preserve the Orchestra.  We are committed to strengthening our business model to ensure our community, and the State of Maryland, are home to a fine orchestra for many years to come.

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Time has come for BSO to make hard choices

By Terry Meyerhoff Rubenstein
November 29, 2018

Over 40 years ago, my grandfather, Joseph Meyerhoff, imagined a new concert hall to be designed and built as a permanent home for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. Though my grandfather passed away just a few years after the 1982 opening of the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, he would have been proud to witness the BSO’s growth since then, and especially the pride that Marin Alsop and the orchestra brought to Baltimore on their recent concert tour to the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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BSO board chair: We need change to secure the orchestra's future

By Barbara Bozzuto
November 21, 2018

Much has been said online and in the media over the past few weeks regarding some proposed changes at the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. As the chair of the Board of Directors of the BSO, I feel it is my place to provide some perspective that I hope will guide the ongoing discussions efficiently, prudently and in the best interests of our fine musicians and loyal audiences.

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