In Friday’s (3/26) Baltimore Sun, Tim Smith reports, “Musicians of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra have agreed to take yet another salary hit in an effort to help the organization weather the continued effects of the recession. The players accepted a freeze for the 2010-11 season and a 16.6 percent reduction for the two seasons after that. By the 2012-2013 season, base pay for BSO members will be $67,600—essentially the same as it was in 2001. … The new agreement follows a series of salary and benefit concessions made by the players in 2009, when the orchestra was facing financial pressures, including a drop in the value of the endowment fund. After two balanced budgets, the 2008-09 season ended with a deficit of $5.6 million. … Under terms of the new contract, musicians will contribute to health care premiums and be responsible for deductible payments that previously were paid by the organization. … BSO president and CEO Paul Meecham said that the ‘economic climate and recession proved much more prolonged than we had all hoped. There has been a reduction in state, city, corporate and foundation [support] and it is not likely to return anytime soon.’ … The orchestra’s annual budget was $27.5 for the last fiscal year, $24.7 million for the current one; next year’s total will be $23.7 million. A balanced budget for the current 2009-2010 is projected.”

Photo by Dave Hoffmann

Posted March 26, 2010