In Friday’s (1/1/2010) Plain Dealer (Cleveland), Zachary Lewis reports, “Contract negotiations between the management and musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra have begun to harden, setting the stage for a possible strike or lockout as early as next week. On the eve of 2010, the orchestra’s administration announced that the musicians had terminated the month-to-month extension under which they’ve been playing since September.” Lewis writes that in a joint statement, musicians noted “a willingness to bargain but also expressing reservations about the administration’s demands, which they said stand to diminish the orchestra’s stature and jeopardize the ability to attract and retain the best players. … But from the management perspective, the problem is clear. Highlighted in the orchestra’s announcement were several figures from the 2009 annual report, including a 20 percent decline in giving, a 5 percent decline in ticket sales and a $27 million loss to the value of the endowment. … Rehearsals are scheduled to resume after the holidays Tuesday, with a busy slate of performances set to follow Thursday through Sunday, Jan. 10. Later in January, the orchestra is scheduled to travel to Miami.”

Posted January 4, 2010