Thursday, March 14, 2013

SFS Musicians Go on Strike

I am a day late in blogging about this, largely owing to wall-to-wall meetings yesterday and the white smoke, so you may have seen the news elsewhere.

San Francisco Symphony's musicians came to their rehearsal yesterday, took a vote, and walked out. Today's 2 p.m. Mahler 9 concert has been cancelled.

The issues seem to come down to money (salaries), health insurance, and working conditions. (See the next blog posting, about timpanist David Herbert's decision to take the same job at the Chicago Symphony.)

Both the musicians and management have set up informational web sites, of which the musician site contains more apparent information and opinion:

My current belief is that the musicians are making a mistake here, that they're unlikely to get much public sympathy when the base salary is $141,000/year. Only a couple of orchestras have a higher base. While there are concerns that other orchestras will lure SFS musicians, it's important to keep in mind that orchestral openings are few and far between, especially for wind and brass players, and SFS itself has several principal and associate principal openings at the moment.

I really wish they'd continued with play & talk.

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