After about a year since their last performance, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Pikes Peak Musicians Association struck a new three-year contract that will bring professional orchestral music back to the region. The new deal will begin with a reduced number of concerts and rehearsals for the 2021-2022 season, as well as reduced wages for the musicians. For the next two seasons, both the number of performances and the musicians’ payment will increase incrementally. The new agreement will include health and safety protections, scheduling flexibility and plans for organizational growth. It replaces the previous agreement that became contested last fall and led the musicians to stop playing.
In a press release, President and CEO of the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Nathan Newbrough, said he was optimistic for the future of the organization. “For 95 years, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic has grown, overcome obstacles, and continued to deliver captivating performances,” he said. “This new agreement is so much more than the numbers or compromises made. What resounds is the return of our world-class musicians and the world’s finest audience.”
Jeremy Van Hoy, chairman of the Orchestra Players Committee and a bass trombonist in the philharmonic, echoed Newbrough’s enthusiasm. “This new three-year agreement will provide much-needed employment for all of us,” he said. “We look forward to presenting thrilling new programs with our Music Director Josep Caballé-Domenech and Associate Music Director Thomas Wilson to all of our loyal patrons and fellow music lovers.”
Sarah Wilson, president of the Local #154 American Federation of Musicians and a cellist in the philharmonic, said the musicians union accepted the salary reductions to get back to work. “We hope that bold artistic vision will be the primary motivation for the Philharmonic’s future decisions and artists will be valued accordingly,” she said in the organization’s press release. “In this way we can continue to attract and retain the talented professionals who make the music."
The Colorado Springs Philharmonic will return to the stage for performances of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” in collaboration with the Oklahoma City Ballet for Thanksgiving Weekend. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.
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