Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announces five-year contract agreement

Fri Aug 28, 2020 at 5:12 pm
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Mark Clampin)

After almost four years of contract uncertainty, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra reached a five-year agreement with its musicians on Friday. Musician compensation will be cut drastically this season, in response to significant financial pressures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, but then salaries will increase in the remaining four years. The new contract goes into effect on September 7 and continues through September 14, 2025.

One major sticking point behind the contract impasse at the BSO was management’s proposal to reduce the orchestra from a 52-week season. Under the terms of this contract, the BSO will remain a year-round orchestra. The agreement also calls for gradual increases in the number of full-time musicians, including gradual filling of vacancies, also important to the musicians’ union. The orchestra will increase from 75 full-time musicians (2020-21 season) to 85 full-time musicians, including librarians, in the 2024-25 season.

In a BSO press release, BSO Players’ Committee Chair Brian Prechtl stated, “The Musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra are so pleased with the momentous agreement we have been able to achieve together with BSO leadership. This long-term agreement will allow us to continue to attract world-class musicians and will give us the freedom to concentrate on what we do best – making sublime music that nurtures and uplifts hearts, minds and spirit.”

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