Since September 27, musicians of the San Antonio Symphony have been on strike. The SAS Society declared an impasse on September 26, imposing a final offer that cut the orchestra's core size from 72 to 42 musicians. (Source: SA Current) Read on for coverage of the dispute, and other stories and people in the news.
San Antonio Symphony strike
Six weeks into the dispute, SAS management has revoked musicians' healthcare benefits, effective Nov. 1, the San Antonio Current reports. Musicians filed an unfair labor practices charge with the National Labor Relations Board on Oct. 25; the SAS Society filed a counter-charge on Oct. 29.
Musicians have also picketed, staged public rallies, and engaged in solidarity actions with other workers' unions. Jacobin Magazine featured an interview with musicians' representative Mary Ellen Goree, who said of the Society's last offer: "Just as a statement of fact, these terms will destroy the San Antonio Symphony. We will not be complicit in our own destruction."
The musicians of the San Antonio Symphony provide updates at their website and social media pages (YouTube, Facebook). ICSOM and OCSM have issued calls to action; as of this writing, the musicians of the OSM and CPO have donated in support.
Canadian orchestra news
The Toronto Symphony begins in-person concerts on Nov. 10, with new music director Gustavo Gimeno leading the orchestra at Roy Thomson Hall, the Globe and Mail reports. The TSO will cap orchestra size at 50 through the fall, with plans to expand forces and perform Beethoven's 9th in June.
The Thunder Bay Symphony can now welcome audiences at full capacity, Thunder Bay Newswatch reports.
As elsewhere, the Edmonton Symphony began the season in with a smaller band and reduced audience capacity; Edmonton Journal critic Mark Morris appraised the early season and speculated on whether ESO Music Director Alex Prior will leave after this season.
Just hours before its season opening concert in September, Orchestre Métropolitain confirmed a donation of $2.5 million from patrons Louise and Sophie Desmarais, Ludwig Van reports.
People in the news
Macleans music critic Paul Wells got a first look at new Montreal Symphony music director Rafael Payare, and sums it up: "Payare looks like fun but sounds like business". Wells reviews a history of Montreal music director love affairs, and the prospects for a rivalry with OM music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
Canadian pianist Bruce Liu has won the Chopin competition, the Globe and Mail reports. Liu, 24, is based in Montreal and recently completed studies with Dang Thai Son, another top prizewinner at the Chopin competition.
Canadian pianist Stewart Goodyear has been appointed the Royal Conservatory of Music's first-ever artist-in-residence, the Globe and Mail reports. Critic Brad Wheeler spoke with Goodyear about plans for the job, his new album, and competitions.
Tuba player Dennis Miller, a past principal of the OSM and the Vancouver Symphony for 25 years, has died at age 77, Slipped Disc reports.