Indianapolis Symphony musicians lockout over
The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is back in business after a month-long lockout of its musicians over stalled contract talks. An agreement was reached Monday night after the musicians agreed to $11 million in concessions. Concerts will resume this week.
ISO musicians were locked out and without health insurance since Sept. 10th, and the stalemate over the contract led to several concerts being canceled. The musicians filed for unemployment while the lockout continued.
On Monday night, the Indianapolis Musicians (Local #3 of the American Federation of Musicians) and the Indiana Symphony Society reached an agreement to ratify two contracts. One takes effect Tuesday (Oct. 16) through February 2013, and the second, a five-year contract, addresses financial terms from February 2013 to September 2017.
According to a statement from the ISO, the new agreements represent a new business model that reduces costs, includes fundraising efforts by the board, staff and musicians, and what the ISO calls a "more sustainable draw rate on the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Foundation (the endowment)."
The terms of the five-year contract include a salary range of $53,000 in year one to $70,000 in year five and the continuation of healthcare and most pension benefits. Overall, the contract represents $11.5 million in concessions by the musicians, which includes a 32-percent pay cut in the first year. The contract's final year represents an approximate 10-percent pay cut from the musicians' current salary. While the musicians have agreed to work eight weeks less than in previous seasons in the first two seasons of the new contract, over the five-year period there will be a 38-42 week performance schedule that maintains the ISO's classical, pops, family, holiday and summer concert series under the ISO's artistic leadership of Maestros Krzysztof Urbañski and Jack Everly, as well as dynamic new programming created by the ISO's artists-in-residence, Time for Three.
As a key ingredient to the success of a five-year contract, the ISO and musicians agreed to a short-term contract in order to put the musicians back to work immediately and to permit the $5 million in funding from new donors to be secured. In addition, the ISO will be calling on its community of subscribers, patrons, affiliate group members, major gift and annual fund donors and corporate leaders to rise to the occasion and contribute significantly to the Orchestra's fundraising efforts by purchasing subscriptions and single tickets, donating to the annual fund, making legacy gifts and sponsoring the ISO's concerts and educational programs. Only with robust community support will the ISO be successful in raising 50-100 percent more than the $6.5 million it receives each year in annual gifts.
Concerts resume this week
Maestro Krzysztof Urbañski will open this weekend's Lilly Classical Series concerts with Olivier Messiaen's Poèmes pour Mi, featuring American soprano and Indiana University alumna Twyla Robinson. Following intermission, Maestro Urbañski will return to lead the Orchestra in Claude Debussy's La Mer and conclude with Boléro, Maurice Ravel's beloved dance-inspired masterpiece. The concert on Friday, Oct. 19 begins at 8 p.m., and the performance on Saturday, Oct. 20 begins at 5:30 p.m. Tickets start at $12 per person.
On Thursday, Oct. 18, the first Stella Artois Happy Hour at the Symphony of the 2012-2013 season features the ISO's dynamic string trio, Time for Three, with the Orchestra. Doors open at 5 p.m. with complimentary food and beverages from local restaurants, and the one-hour performance begins at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person.
If you have tickets from previously canceled performances, you may exchange into this weekend's performances or another of your choice (excluding special events). Contact the ISO Box Office by calling (317) 639-4300 or email them.