The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced that its musicians have donated $1 million in salary and benefit concessions for the 2009-10 season. The concessions—achieved through wage and pension rate freezes, unpaid furloughs, deferment of filling certain orchestra vacancies, and $24,000 in annual fund contributions—represent an 8 percent reduction in the salary and benefits package the players were scheduled to receive in the 2009-10 season. The BSO says the “extraordinary act of generosity” by its musicians has inspired a fundraising initiative called “Music Matters: Play Your Part,” designed to gain additional public support for the orchestra during the current economic recession. During the campaign, which already has raised $675,000 toward a goal of $2 million, the BSO challenges the public to raise 2:1 matching funds, or $2 million in new money over the coming months. Music Director Marin Alsop has contributed a leadership gift of $50,000. Piccolo player Laurie Sokoloff, the BSO Players Committee Chair, said, “The Baltimore Symphony is thriving; unfortunately, the economy is not… The musicians proposed this campaign because we want to do our part to help.” The campaign follows two rounds of cost-cutting measures for the orchestra this season.

Posted April 29, 2009

Photo of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra by Jennifer Taylor