The Seattle Symphony and the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players’ Organization (SSOPO) have agreed to extend their previous collective bargaining agreement, which was set to expire on August 31, 2009. The agreement has been extended to December 31, 2009, and includes a gift from the players, who will donate their services for a September 12 gala concert marking Music Director Gerard Schwarz’s 25th anniversary with the orchestra. “This extension allows us the time to think creatively and work collaboratively towards a new longer term agreement,” commented President and Executive Director Thomas Philion, who characterizes the talks as very positive. “As we begin Maestro Schwarz’s Silver Anniversary Season,” said Michael Crusoe, Principal Timpanist, and chair of the SSOPO, “we are donating our work for the gala to celebrate the achievements that we have made together. In our ongoing negotiations, we will continue our commitment to cultivating a shared and successful vision of the Symphony’s artistic excellence and growth.” Earlier this year the orchestra announced that Schwarz will step down as Seattle’s music director in 2011, when he will assume the lifetime appointment of conductor laureate. 

Posted September 1, 2009