Discord in the Hall

Labor unrest threatens the nation's orchestras

The silence was deafening. For nearly two months, the musicians of the St. Louis Symphony refused to pick up their instruments after their contract expired. Then last week, after the National Labor Relations Board ruled that the stoppage was an illegal strike, the musicians and management finally agreed on a new 3 1/2-year contract, to be ratified by the orchestra this week. Base pay for orchestra members will rise by a small amount, to $74,000 next year (still far less than the $100,000 paid by the Chicago Symphony and other top ensembles), and the prestigious orchestra, the nation's second oldest, will...

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