Or, as they say on the internets, WTF??!!
The Detroit Symphony regime, er, management, has taken a Qadaffi-esque approach to the musicians’ strike with a spray of gunfire, er, announcement that if the musicians don’t settle for more concessions than were proposed in their last, best offer, then the orchestra would be replaced.
I’m literally speechless, until I realize that this clearly is where the DSO management and board has wanted to go all along. Of course, the completely trustworthy Joseph Kluger (former Philadelphia Orchestra president and now whore, er, consultant) chimes in with the usual “new paradigm” b.s. And of course Leonard Slatkin is expensive, but “we can’t afford not to keep him”. Unlike the orchestra.
What … a … mess …
For more consistent updates (and excellent analysis) go over to Drew McManus’ Adaptistration website.
Here is the American Federation of Musicians response:
AFM Denounces DSO Management’s Plans
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2011
CONTACT: Honore Stockley
(315) 422-4488 ext. 104
Following action taken last weekend to suspend the remainder of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) season, DSO management has announced that it plans to create a new orchestra in Detroit. Current DSO members would be eligible to play in the new orchestra only if they were to accept unilateral terms, which are now harsher than those outlined in the proposed contract that was overwhelmingly rejected by musicians last week. DSO management’s commitment to staff the new orchestra with professional musicians rings hollow, given that nearly all professional orchestral musicians stand in solidarity as members of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM). The new orchestra would therefore have to be made up largely of amateur musicians.
“The DSO’s threat to hire amateur replacements reveals the business model that management wanted all along. It is part of a larger plan to impose unjustified concessions on professional musicians to adversely reshape their lives, not just in Detroit, but everywhere,” says AFM President Ray Hair. “The American Federation of Musicians will not grovel to these union busters. We will take comfort in the power of our music. We will never surrender.”
Management has flatly stated that no further negotiations will take place, but DSO musicians are convinced that a settlement of the 20-week-old strike could still be reached, if only management would allow musicians to have a say in how funds are allocated. A sticking point in negotiations has been how much money would go toward the orchestra’s community engagement projects, versus musicians’ base pay. Musicians point out that, while management has been discussing a new model for community engagement, they have been living it for four months, performing self-produced concerts in schools, churches, and other community venues.
A donation to the DSO Members Fund will enable the DSO musicians to continue to take a stand for their art form, and will resound nationwide. Checks should be made out to DSO Members Fund and mailed to: DSO Members Fund; C/O Susan Barna Ayoub, Secretary-Treasurer; Detroit Federation of Musicians; 20833 Southfield Rd.; Detroit, MI 48075. More information on the DSO strike is available at www.detroitsymphonymusicians.org.