Philadelphia Orchestra Performs Opening Night Without Contract

By Francisco Salazar

The musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra performed during the opening night of its season on Sept. 28 without a contract.

The orchestra gave the concert after months of negotiations failed to produce an agreement on a new contract.

According to a press release, the orchestra and management bargained on Tuesday into the early hours of Wednesday, with the management of the Philadelphia Orchestra Kimmel Center Inc. presenting a revised final offer that will be presented to the musicians’ membership for a vote. However, it still failed to provide musicians with a wage increase that would keep pace with inflation. The union recently lambasted management on the point of wage increases, especially given that Matias Tarnopolsky, the CEO of the Philadelphia Orchestra Kimmel Center Inc., saw a 111 percent pay increase between fiscal years 2019-2022.

Musicians will vote on whether to ratify this contract and the results of that vote are expected Saturday night.

In a statement, David Fay, a double bass player in the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1984 said, “Our membership has agreed to play our opening night performance while we consider the latest contract, and we’re looking forward to spending this evening with our patrons, volunteers, and board members. We remain hopeful for a positive start to the season that includes a strong and fair contract that puts our wages on par with our peers and at pace with the rate of inflation, so we can continue to produce the finest sound and remain the best orchestra in the world.”