Recession Watch: Making the Cut
Today, the Atlanta Symphony announced that its musicians have agreed to a 5% pay cut as part of a second round of organization-wide cost-cutting measures that started with reductions to administrative staff salaries in March. Yesterday, it was the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra whose players agreed to a 12% pay reduction for the 2009-10 season; cost-cutting efforts there include reducing senior management’s salaries by 15.5% and eliminating 7 administrative positions. In the wake of this news, I started idly tallying up a list of orchestras that have announced significant cuts in the last month, and the results are sobering: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Minnesota, and that's just off the top of my head. Let's not even start with the opera companies.
Some companies, of course, can't blame their woes entirely on the recession. After the beleaguered New York City Opera announced its reduced 2009-10 season, as I mentioned last week, it emerged that they may have neglected to make nice with the musicians' union (AGMA), which now is threatening to strike. The inexperience of George Steel, the company's newly-appointed general manager, may be showing.
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