Due to the continuation of the work stoppage by the musicians of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), tonight’s 8 p.m. performance of Gustav Mahler’s ninth symphony has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. Talks are moving forward after a thirteen-hour negotiation session that continued into the early hours of this morning, and more talks are scheduled for today. No further concert cancellations have been announced at this time.
On Wednesday I provided a summary of the Administration offer whose rejection led to the beginning of the work stoppage. I also provided the Administration statement of how current production expenses are exceeding current revenues. I would refer those interested in the musicians’ position to the San Francisco Chronicle article by Joshua Kosman, which summarizes a statement by violist David Gaudry, chairman of the players’ five-member negotiating committee. Since it appeared on the Chronicle’s Web site, Kosman’s article has received 255 comments, the most popular of which have not sided with the musicians. This is also the case for the one letter appearing in the print edition of this morning’s Chronicle.
The only personal opinion I would offer at this time is that the continuation of the talks is a positive sign. I would like to believe that no one wants to see the three-city four-concert East Coast tour, which begins this Wednesday. March 20, in Carnegie Hall, cancelled. When Kosman filed his article, the reason for the breakdown in negotiations involved details in the health plan. We can only hope that a satisfactory resolution will be found that addresses the needs of the musicians and the current operating budget.
Patrons with tickets for tonight’s concert may exchange them for an upcoming concert, donate their tickets, or receive a refund. The Box Office may be reached by phone at 415-864-6000. The Press Room page of the SFS Web site will be maintained with information about further cancellations and when performances will resume. Further details on the negotiations may be obtained either through the Press Room page or by sending electronic mail to Oliver Theil, SFS Director of Communications.