Play And Talk In Philadelphia

Shortly after midnight on 9/20/04 the negotiating teams for The Philadelphia Orchestra Association and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 77,  jointly issued the following statement:



The negotiating teams for The Philadelphia Orchestra Association and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 77, have been working for many months in an effort to negotiate a new agreement.   The Musicians’ negotiating team has been creative in suggesting ideas to generate additional revenue and identify cost-saving opportunities.  The parties recognize that these efforts must be incorporated into an agreement that preserves the artistic integrity and financial security of the Orchestra.


Given the complex nature of the issues, we will not be able to conclude an agreement by the 12:01 a.m. deadline.   Recognizing our mutual desire to continue to present concerts to our loyal audiences, we have therefore agreed to extend negotiations for a period of thirty days, until October 20, 2004.


As part of our agreement, both sides have also agreed to a media blackout.  We hope this extension will provide the necessary time to reach an amicable agreement.


So that leaves New York as the only orchestra among the “Big 5” that still have a contract deadline of today.


It’s good to see that both sides of the Philadelphia negotiations realize the importance of pursuing every avenue available to reconcile their differences.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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