No concessions could silence Hartford Symphony Orchestra - WFSB 3 Connecticut

No concessions could silence Hartford Symphony Orchestra

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No concessions could silence Hartford Symphony Orchestra (WFSB) No concessions could silence Hartford Symphony Orchestra (WFSB)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

If musicians don’t reach an agreement with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, the music could be silenced next month.

Both sides have been negotiating for almost one year, but now there is a new proposal.

"If we don't have an agreement by the end of January, at the latest, we will be forced to make some tough decisions,” said Steve Collins, the symphony's director of Artistic Operations & Administration, who added that the symphony is losing roughly $1 million every year.

Collins said they need wage concessions, and that the unionized musicians are getting paid for a guaranteed number of performances and rehearsals, even if they don’t play.

All of the musicians are part-time, and the board said they’ve made cuts.

"This is a 71-year-old institution and we really want to keep it going. We are ready to work, we just need both parties at the table,” said Jeff Verney, the Symphony’s board chairman.

"While we are not the problem- we will be part of the solution,” said Michael Pollard, who is a violinist with the symphony, and has been for 41 years.

He said musicians are willing to make sacrifices, and have, but the Symphony must do the same.

He said the Symphony has pretty much stopped fundraising, and they have lost the opera and ballet, and they need to grow their endowment to be stable and successful.

"Even if we agree to all of their terms - the underlying problem facing the Hartford Symphony is not the musicians’ contract,” Pollard said.

The Symphony said growing its endowment has been difficult because of the Symphony’s financial troubles.

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