Faced with financial difficulties, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra recently asked its musicians to take nearly a 50 percent cut in pay in their new contract. The news sent shudders reverberating through the orchestra world.
“We're not in any kind of immediate danger,” J.L. Nave III, Fort Wayne Philharmonic president and CEO, said last week.
The orchestra's contract with its musicians runs through this season, Nave said. If any changes are made, they won't take place until the 2013-2014 season.
But the orchestra isn't waiting to take a look at the issue, he said. The Phil board of directors put together a sustainability task force a few months ago. That group collected information and reported back to the board last week.
The board and staff now will look at options and challenges and work with the musicians to create a plan for the future, Nave said.
“It really is a very proactive, disciplined approach,” he said. “Hopefully, we can avoid some of the difficulties other orchestras have faced.”
In Indianapolis, for example, the musicians' contract expired Sept. 2 without a new agreement. The two sides are in contract negotiations. But the lack of an agreement forced the ISO to cancel concerts Sept. 14-15 and this Friday-Sunday, it says on the ISO website, www.indianapolissymphony.org.