“I am not a born Hoosier,” writes Richard Graef, assistant principal horn and Orchestra Committee chairman of the Indianapolis Symphony, writes on the opinion page of Tuesday’s (2/19) Indianapolis Star. “I chose to come to the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and play under Maestro Raymond Leppard for the people of Indiana. … When the ISO musicians were locked out for five weeks last fall, the community support was uplifting and sustaining. … In order to return the music to the people of Indiana and to avoid a protracted lock-out that threatened to permanently damage our great symphony orchestra, the musicians agreed to a five-year contract that took effect on Oct. 15, 2012, and will end on Sept. 3, 2017. It represents $11.5 million in concessions by the musicians. … In order to preserve its future artistic quality and cultural viability, the current reductions in personnel, performance weeks, salary and benefits must be seen as temporary. We all have to work together to move forward and regenerate Indiana’s full-time major symphony orchestra. … To those who supported the ISO during this critical time, you have our heartfelt appreciation. You have been essential to keeping your musicians on the stage, playing the music we all love.”

Posted February 21, 2013