A Saturday, off-the-record meeting between the Fort Worth Symphony administration and musicians’ union representatives did not lead to any hoped-for progress in ending the strike that started September 9th and led the symphony to cancel this season’s early performances. In fact, symphony officials announced today that all concerts through December 31st have been cancelled, including the popular holiday concerts as well as a performance with pianist Vadym Kholodenko, which also involved a recording project with him.
The symphony release states if the strike ends in time, there may be performances. So the symphony will notify ticket holders regarding options for handling unused tickets. Patrons are encouraged to hold onto their tickets and wait for notification before calling the ticket office. Union officials called for collaborative strategies for new projects and new revenue — rather than the proposed budget cuts.
Here are both releases:
Ongoing Musicians’ Strike Causes Cancellation of Additional FWSO Concerts
FORT WORTH, TX – October 24, 2016 – Due to the ongoing strike by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra musicians, additional FWSO concerts through December 31 have been canceled.
Dates and programs for the canceled FWSOA concerts are as follows:
- November 11-13: FWSO Pops Concerts – The Sounds of America
- November 18-20: FWSO Symphonic Concerts – Prokofiev Piano Concerto No. 3
- November 25-27: FWSO Pops Concerts – Home for the Holidays
- December 1: FWSO One-Night Special– Chris Botti, Trumpet
- December 2: FWSO One-Night Special – Handel’s Messiah
- December 22: FWSO Holiday Concert in Southlake – Sounds of the Season
- December 31: FWSO One-Night Special – New Year’s Eve: A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald
Also affected are community and educational performances in Mansfield and Stephenville.
No future FWSOA concerts are affected at this time.
“We deeply regret having to cancel further performances. Unfortunately, talks with the Musicians’ Union over the weekend did not yield the results necessary to ensure the Orchestra’s survival in the short term while we implement plans to secure the long-term future of the institution,” said Amy Adkins, President of the FWSOA. “Therefore, we must cancel these performances in consideration of our patrons and ticket buyers, artists, and presenters to give them ample time to make alternative plans.”
“We will continue to work in good faith to bring the music back to the community while ensuring the long term health and future of the orchestra. We appreciate the continued patience and understanding of our loyal audiences and supporters as we navigate this complex and challenging situation.”
In the event of an end to the strike before December 31, 2016, it may be possible to reinstate some of the affected performances, depending on a number of variables. The FWSOA will notify ticket holders for its performances regarding options for handling unused tickets. Patrons are encouraged to hold onto their tickets and wait for notification before calling the ticket office. Additional information regarding the concert cancellations and ongoing strike is available at www.fwsymphony.org.
Fort Worth Symphony Cancels Concerts Through December; Refuses Overtures for Collaboration
Despite a return to the negotiation table on Saturday, Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) Management has announced today that it is unilaterally canceling concerts through December 31, 2016. This comes after rebuffing Musicians’ repeated offers to collaborate with Management to develop financial solutions to resolve the nearly seven week long dispute.
Musicians, represented by Local 72-147 of the American Federation of Musicians, in off-the-record discussions have proposed that Management halt its damaging cancellations and that both parties combine their time, talent and resources to develop new projects and sources of revenue within the Fort Worth community. “We have been telling Management that we will work with them to actively find financial solutions, but Management is not listening,” said Ed Jones, FWSO Principal Tuba and member of the Negotiating Committee.
Collaboration was the hallmark of the Musicians’ history with the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Before a pattern of continuous cuts began in 2010, this spirit of working together resulted in creating new revenue, which helped to lay the groundwork for community events like the highly profitable Concerts in the Garden series. This once positive relationship was central to the development of the orchestra’s now threatened world class status. However, today Management refuses to consider collaborative solutions.
Management’s only answer is to cancel two more months of concerts, refusing to negotiate anything but continued cuts – cuts which damage the association’s very strength and ability to meet its future challenges. The cancellations include a set of Symphonic Subscription concerts featuring th this favorite Fort Worth artist. The following events have also been cancelled:
• Pops performances celebrating America’s music and history
• the hugely popular Holiday Pops the weekend after Thanksgiving
• other multiple holiday performances across the city
• a special performance with Trumpet Soloist Chris Botti
• and several concerts bringing music to children in schools across Fort Worth.
“Management is so intent on getting cuts in any way possible, they are now taking it out on the people of Fort Worth directly,” said Musicians Union President Stewart Williams. “In our last meeting we called upon Symphony President Amy Adkins to stop these cancellations and discuss ways for Musicians and Management to work together, not only to develop new revenue but also to better serve the community. She refused to consider in any such options. Instead, she is forcing cuts through cancellations, slashing concert after concert, in reckless disregard for the people the FWSO serves.”
By canceling so many performances months before they are scheduled, Management has ensured that there will be no more music from the FWSO in 2016. This virtual lockout of the musicians is senselessly denying the people of Fort Worth of their hometown orchestra, turning the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra into a Management – without Music.