The 3/25/2010 edition of the Baltimore Sun includes an article by Tim Smith that reports on the recent concessionary contract between the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and its musicians. According to the article, the base musician salary will drop 16.6 percent to $67,600, “essentially the same as it was in 2001.” But what’s really interesting is some of the information Smith will almost certainly address in subsequent articles once the BSO releases additional information; such as details surrounding a new post-conservatory Fellows program…
According to a press release from the BSO dated 3/25/2010 one item related to the concessionary contract could potentially impact musician membership.
From September 2011, a new two-year agreement takes effect through September 2013; annual salary will be reduced 16.66% from the 2008-09 contract and medical insurance costs will be reduced by 16.5% through employee contributions to premiums and deductible payments. Vacant positions in the orchestra will remain unfilled.
In support of the BSO’s mission to educate and mentor young musicians, the BSO will begin an experimental Fellows program in September 2011 for highly talented post-conservatory musicians to perform with and be mentored by the BSO. The structure and details of the program have yet to be worked out, but will be developed by Marin Alsop and the BSO musicians.
As stated, the structure and details are forthcoming so we will have to wait and see exactly what this program entails but it will be interesting to see if any of the issues discussed barely a month ago in an article titled “When Is The Philadelphia Orchestra Not The Philadelphia Orchestra?“potentially intersect this proposed program. In particular, the question of hiring substitutes from a pool of conservatory students at reduced wages and its potential impact on artistic integrity generated a great deal of traffic and private messages when the article was published.
It certainly wouldn’t be right to assume what the BSO’s Fellowship program will entail and whether or not it will have any impact on permanent or temporary vacancies. Likewise, it will be interesting to see if the BSO administrators, music director Marin Alsop, and the musicians address this potential concern in similar fashion to the traditional stance of their Philadelphia colleagues.
As for now, we’ll have to wait and see.