This fall, the Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Fort Worth Symphony each announced new contracts for musicians, following work stoppages and concert cancellations. At the Philadelphia Orchestra, the musicians’ previous contract expired midway through September, and negotiations came to a halt. A musicians strike that began at the orchestra’s opening-night gala ended two days later with a new three-year contract that includes a 2 percent wage increase in the first year and 2.5 percent increases in the second and third years. The orchestra will increase from 96 to 97 musicians, and musicians will have more direct involvement in fundraising. At the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, “play-and-talk” negotiations past the September 4 expiration of the previous contract were followed by a strike that began on September 30 and ended just before Thanksgiving with a five-year contract. Under the new agreement, wages will be cut 7.5 percent in the first year, frozen in the second year, increased 3.3 percent in the third year, increased 2 percent in the fourth year, and restored to 2016 levels by the fifth year. In Texas, musicians of the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra went on strike on September 8, following more than a year of negotiations after the expiration of the previous contract in July 2015. The strike ended on December 7 with a four-year contract that includes a pay freeze in the first and second years, followed by a 2 percent increase in the third year and a 2.5 percent increase in the fourth. In Pittsburgh and Fort Worth, contract negotiations coincided with efforts to reduce or eliminate annual budget deficits.

Budgets in brief: Several orchestras announced balanced budgets, some with surpluses, at the end of the 2016 fiscal year, among them the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Oregon Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Santa Rosa Symphony, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra.