Pay Crunch for Many U.S. Symphony Orchestras – Musicians’ pay has become the target in the continuing financial struggle of many symphony orchestras around the U.S. The Chicago Symphony had a brief strike last month, which resulted in a 4.5% raise for musicians over three years. But the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra had to shrink the number of players from 93 to 88, as well as the remaining ones taking a steep pay cut. Management of the Minnesota Orchestra has instituted a lockout and cancelation of concerts at least thru Nov. 25. The musicians had rejected a base-pay cut from $135,000 to $89,000. The Cleveland Orchestra musicians are continuing to play with a contract, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has called off concerts while talks continue. Players in the Jacksonville Symphony are being pressured to accept a nearly 20% pay cut and those in the Baltimore Symphony have returned 27% of their base pay in recent years due management’s threats of bankruptcy.
The Delaware Symphony has essentially shut down while contract talks continue. The New York Philharmonic signed a pact in January after federal mediation; it expired Sept. 20. The Philadelphia Orchestra has been running in Chapter 11 for 15½ months. At one time its unique 52-week contract was hailed as the highest achievement, and now it was the first major orchestra to file for bankruptcy. But these are the top dogs in the music world—the vast majority of U.S. orchestral players barely make a living wage, and most have to moonlight at other jobs. The country’s orchestras embody the current financial upheaval in so many other areas.
D+M Sells Off McIntosh – D+M Group has sold off McIntosh Laboratory to Fine Sounds of Milan, Italy, owner of such high-end brands as Sonus Faber, Audio Research, Wadia and Sumiko. A spokesman said the acquisition “represents a strategic direction for our company to be a leader in the international luxury audio arena and to have products that are the best in the world in their category.” Charles Randall, current president/CEO of McIntosh, will continue managing the brand.
Emotiva Adds Stereo & Surround Preamps – Consumer-direct audio supplier Emotiva Audio has added the first stereo preamp and the first tune/preamp/surround processor to its mid-level X series. The XMC-1 is due sometime this quarter at $1500 and features 7.1 decoding, FM/AM tuner, second-zone audio, seven HDMI 1.4 inputs and one HDMI output, TacT TCS 3e Theater Dynamic Room Correction system, front and back USB-A ports, an Ethernet port and DSD decoding for SACD decks. Users can adjust responses to their personal tastes while listening to music or movies.
Wayne Shorter – In Memoriam
Rememberance of the artist