by John Pitcher
After more than two months of negotiations, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and the Nashville Musicians Association have reached a tentative agreement over a new musicians’ contract. Details of the agreement are being kept confidential pending ratification by the musicians.
“The new agreement is not as progressive as it has been in past years,” says one source familiar with the agreement who requested anonymity due to the ongoing media blackout. “But it’s still good because it resolves a lot of issues.”
Musicians initially faced a proposal for steep cuts from the symphony, which had been under financial duress for months due to heavy debt on its Schermerhorn Symphony Center. According to an email from the NMA to the musicians obtained by the Scene, the Nashville Symphony initially sought a 30-percent cut in the musicians’ compensation, from an annual base salary of $60,000 to around $42,000. The initial proposal also called for cutting the length of the season from 44 weeks to 36.
The union and symphony management reached the tentative agreement Thursday night. Musicians are now on their summer break, with some traveling abroad, so a final vote is not expected until sometime next week.