Although not exactly a buzz cut compared to their peers, the musicians of the Oregon Symphony (OS) recently agreed to midterm amendment to their existing collective bargaining agreement that reportedly waives a lump sum end of season payment along with the planned 2.6 percent base salary increase for the 2013/14 season.
The 5/28/2013 edition of The Oregonian published an article by David Stabler where the author describes the latest round of austerity measures as a “slow, relentless shrinking of the Oregon Symphony.”
Neither the Oregon Symphony website nor the musician run website provided any statements about the budget cuts; if you wanted something like that, you could find it at OregonMusicNews.com, which published an OS press release on the matter.
Fortunately, Stabler provided additional details as well.
His article chronicles a series of recent and projected program cuts alongside additional cuts to the administrative staff and the lack of an executive leader for nearly 10 months.
Also last October, the Oregon Symphony cut three administrative positions and reduced salaries by 4 percent for 22 of 33 staff members who received pay above a certain baseline. The orchestra has been without a president since Elaine Calder resigned in August.
Of particular interest, however, is the degree of uncertainty related to whether or not OS music director, Carlos Kalmar, has shared in the austerity measures.
An article by Brian Wise appearing in the 5/30/2013 edition of WQXR.com reports that the status of Kalmar’s compensation is unknown.
The orchestra did not say whether music director Carlos Kalmar took a comparable pay cut. Nor did it specify the amount of its overall deficit.
Lopsided sacrifice among stakeholders is rarely a recipe for harmony and success, in worst case scenarios it can lead to an overall reduction of artistic excellence. Consequently, it will be interesting to see if the organization or Kalmar offer up any public statement regarding his salary before the end of the OS’s fiscal year.