Springfield Symphony Orchestra could cancel shows if contract agreement not reached

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Springfield Symphony Orchestra said on Friday that their upcoming season is in jeopardy of being cancelled, if a labor agreement can’t be reached. 

Contract negotiations have been ongoing for quite some time. The Orchestra said if an agreement can’t be reached by next Friday, they’ll have to start cancelling shows. 

The Springfield Symphony Orchestra and its musicians, who are members of the Musicians Labor Union, still haven’t settled a contract. The SSO said after October 1, it’s “unrealistic” to organize concerts for the upcoming season, which would force them to cancel shows.  

In a statement to 22News, the SSO said in part, “Our most recent offer included acceptance of the union’s demand for a contract that would extend through the 2022-23 season, as well as substantial pay rate increase for both seasons.” 

The Musician’s Labor Union feels that’s not enough. They want to see a longer contract and vacant positions filled, including development director, music director, and box office manager. Adding that in past years, when a contract had lapsed, they’d continue to perform while simultaneously negotiating their next contract. 

“To cancel a full season and have one major piece of our work is very difficult especially coming out of almost 2 years of having not been able to perform in person with any organization so it really is devastating to professional musicians,” said Alexander Svensen, clerk, and media committee member. 

Union members are hosting a free concert at Symphony Hall on October 15 at 7:30 p.m. It was planned by the union. The Springfield Symphony Orchestra said in their statement that this only diminishes the chances of resolving the contract by October 1. 

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