Wednesday, October 3, 2012

San Antonio Symphony and Musicians Union Reach Agreement

Guest conductor Roman Teber leads the San Antonio Symphony. Photo by Joey Palacios
By Joey Palacios

The San Antonio Symphony was one of many orchestras across the country to be in contract negotiations, but now it's one of the few to come to finally an agreement. Symphony Board Chair Dennert Ware said the collective bargaining agreement will extend the length of the performance season.

"We're slowly increasing the weeks from 27 to 29, we think that's a positive step," Ware said. "We made some very modest increases in salary."

Salaries for the musicians will increase each year to just under $30,000 with greater health benefits and also allows for collaboration with an opera company in the third year. First Violinist Craig Sorgi represents the Musicians Society of San Antonio and said the contract sends a message to the community.

"It sends a message that we plan to be here, we're doing business, we are working together, we're getting it done, and we're moving forward instead of moving backward or standing in place," Sorgi said.

The Symphony and musicians operated under a verbal agreement last season since a contract was not finalized in time.  The new three-year contract will take them into the first year of performing in the Tobin Center for the performing arts.

This year’s operating budget for the Symphony is about $7 million, one-third of that comes from ticket sales and the rest from donations.

The first show for the season is this Friday at the Majestic.

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