Baltimore Symphony Agreement

“I am delighted that an agreement has been reached,” said BSO Music Director Marin Alsop in a statement announcing the new contract, “and that we will have our musicians back on stage to open our 104th season starting Friday night.” Even in the midst of the global coronavirus pandemic, which just arrived in Maryland when the negotiation process resumed in March, the new agreement creates an unprecedented sense of stability for an orchestra that has long been involved in internal but rather public wrangling. But these changes are the result of many discussions over the past year, through the newly created Vision Committee, which brings together various interest groups, from musicians and board members to community leaders, as well as to the government task force mandated by the General Assembly. The organization also received advice from Turnaround King Councillor Michael Kaiser, who was hired by the BSO last fall and helped revitalize the American Ballet Theatre, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and the Royal Opera House in London at difficult times. The agreement focuses on recognizing the considerable financial pressure associated with the social decentralization of COVID-19 in the form of short-term compensatory adjustments, followed by gradual increases in pay and musical addition from the second year of the agreement. What is also important is that this agreement supports the achievement of the objectives set out in the OSO`s strategic plan, as announced in February 2020 – an adaptation of the work rules to encourage new and enhanced activities related to the public, community and donors, and programmatic innovations in Baltimore, Montgomery County and throughout Maryland. The agreement also promotes a new institutional commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) by creating a task force that considers new opportunities for professional development, evaluates orchestrated recruitment procedures and implements new scholarship programmes. “There were huge innovations at that time,” says Kjome. “While we may not be able to welcome all the musicians on stage for a Mahler symphony, there is a remarkable music that we will play, that our audience has not heard for a long time, if that is the case.” The terms of the five-year contract are as follows: Kjome stated that the signing of a multi-year contract was ending in what was four years of almost uninterrupted negotiations.