Negotiators for musicians in contract talks with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra say management is out to reduce the ensemble’s size and wages, according to the Indianapolis Star.
Rick Graef, a horn player and chairman of the musicians’ negotiating committee, said the orchestra is seeking to cut the number of contracted players from 87 to 63, shrink wages by 45 percent, and reduce the symphony’s season from 52 to 36 weeks. Indianapolis is the smallest U.S. metropolitan area still maintaining a year-round orchestra.
Musicians’ current three-year contract expires Sunday. Mr. Graef said the union has offered concessions such as annual furloughs for players that would save the orchestra $3.2-million, which he said “will sustain it at the current artistic model” and that players will exit, “quickly if they can,” if the proposed cuts are implemented.
The orchestra’s budget is $25.6-million, and it cut its expenses by nearly 30 percent from 2008 to 2010, but a capital campaign launched two years is nowhere near its goal of $100-million. Symphony spokeswoman Jessica Di Santo said management is “hopeful an agreement can be reached” but would not comment further on the talks.