“In a few weeks, Governor Larry Hogan is expected to sign a bill granting an additional $3.2 million to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra for the next two years—a potentially crucial step toward resolving a contentious labor dispute and allowing the organization to remain a year-round ensemble,” writes Mary Carole McCauley in Thursday’s (4/18) Baltimore Sun. “ ‘We are hopeful and optimistic that the bill will become law,’ Peter Kjome, the BSO’s president and CEO, said. ‘A tentative date has been set for the signing ceremony’ … The musicians are still playing without a contract, and negotiations on a new labor agreement continue. The symphony’s underlying financial issues—problems that convinced management that downsizing to a 40-week season was an unfortunate necessity—haven’t disappeared. To resolve those challenges, Kjome estimates that the BSO must raise an additional $40 million for the endowment…. Said Brian Prechtl, co-chairman of the Players Committee (the musicians’ union), ‘We’re pulling in the same direction now. All signs are that we will have productive bargaining sessions.’ … The Baltimore City Council passed a resolution in February urging the state legislature to increase its support for the symphony.” A bill was approved by the general assembly and state senate.

Posted April 18, 2019