The Detroit Symphony Orchestra Strike
By Shannon Jones, 15 April 2020
Orchestras, opera companies, museums and other cultural institutions face severe revenue strains due to the COVID-19 pandemic and are responding with major cuts.
By Nick Barrickman, 3 June 2019
The announcement of plans to cut the performances and pay of BSO musicians comes amid efforts to attack the artistic and economic conditions of orchestra musicians across the US.
By Samuel Davidson, 3 November 2016
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians are fighting against pay cuts and job reductions.
By Evan Winters, 3 November 2016
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra musicians spoke to the World Socialist Web Site on the importance public access to arts, especially in schools, after a Halloween-themed concert to support striking orchestra musicians. Over sixty musicians played to an enthusiastic audience of 350.
By Alan Whyte, 3 November 2016
The strike by nearly 5,000 Philadelphia transit workers is an expression of the growing militancy of workers on the eve of the US presidential elections.
By Fred Mazelis, 3 October 2016
The musicians in both the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony face demands for concessions from wealthy patrons and management.
By Dan Conway and Dorota Niemitz, 7 April 2014
The recent decision to shut down the San Diego Opera Company after 49 seasons has evoked widespread popular outrage, with more than 20,000 signatures gathered in opposition to the closure.
By Niles Williamson, 23 December 2013
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is threatened with closure if it fails to raise $5 million in the next two months to cover its operating costs.
By Eric London, 4 October 2013
This statement is being distributed at concerts organized by the musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra on Friday and Saturday.
By our reporters, 4 October 2013
Music students spoke to WSWS reporters about the Minnesota Orchestra lockout and the defense of the right to culture.
By Fred Mazelis, 11 June 2013
The Nashville Symphony Orchestra is the latest prominent US musical institution to face the threat of dissolution, as its biggest creditor, the Bank of America, has begun foreclosure proceedings.
By David Walsh, 29 May 2013
The news that Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, is thinking of selling the DIA’s art collection to help pay the city’s creditors has provoked widespread anger.
By David Brown, 16 March 2013
The pay freeze and benefit reductions the musicians face are part of a nationwide assault on culture.
By Christine Schofelt, 9 November 2012
The musicians of the Spokane (Washington) Symphony Orchestra, faced with a demand for a 13.3 percent wage cut, walked out on strike November 3. The current pay of core players is $17,460 a year.
By Fred Mazelis, 1 November 2012
The round of wage cuts that began with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra two years ago has now become a flood of givebacks at orchestras across the US.
By Fred Mazelis, 10 January 2012
Musicians and singers were locked out by the New York City Opera on Monday, as chorus rehearsals were scheduled to begin for the company’s abbreviated season.
By Fred Mazelis, 8 December 2011
Management at the New York City Opera has declared an impasse in its ongoing negotiations with the union representing singers and musicians.
Interview with Detroit Symphony violinist: “We went on strike because we didn’t want the orchestra to be destroyed”
By Shannon Jones, 10 October 2011
On the one-year anniversary of the beginning of the strike by Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians, the WSWS interviewed DSO violinist Marian Tanau.
DSO president led assault on musicians
By Shannon Jones, 7 June 2011
The decision by Detroit Symphony Orchestra management to extend the contract of DSO President and CEO Anne Parsons is an expression of its contempt for musicians and the public at large.
“They look at the arts as a luxury item”
By Shannon Jones, 10 May 2011
WSWS reporter Shannon Jones and arts editor David Walsh recently interviewed Michigan Opera Theatre musician Greg Near.
By Fred Mazelis, 18 April 2011
The board of the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the most prominent symphony orchestras in the US, voted April 16 to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
By Shannon Jones, 15 April 2011
Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra have returned to the stage in Detroit after ratifying a new three-year concessions contract.
13 April 2011
The following letter from a Detroit Symphony Orchestra musician was sent to WSWS reporter Shannon Jones, who covered the recently ended DSO strike.
By Shannon Jones, 7 April 2011
Details of the tentative contract settlement in the DSO strike confirm the outcome of the six-month strike was a bitter setback.
By Shannon Jones, 5 April 2011
A tentative settlement has been reached in the strike by Detroit Symphony musicians, now marking its six-month anniversary.
By Philip Guelpa, 5 April 2011
The management of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra (SSO), a major regional orchestra in central New York state, has announced the suspension of the remainder of its scheduled performance season due to a budgetary crisis.
By Shannon Jones, 31 March 2011
Facing a management imposed April 1 deadline for the cancellation of summer concerts, striking DSO musicians Wednesday picketed the quarterly board of directors meeting at Orchestra Hall.
By Shannon Jones, 30 March 2011
With the strike by DSO musicians in its sixth month, management has set a Friday deadline for cancellation of summer concerts.
By Shannon Jones, 22 March 2011
Striking DSO musicians are in the 25th week of a strike against drastic concession demands by a management that seems bent on destroying the orchestra.
By Shannon Jones, 9 March 2011
Striking musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra report that DSO management has rejected their proposal for binding arbitration, countering with what amounts to a demand for unconditional surrender.
Musicians’ strike entering sixth month
By Shannon Jones, 9 March 2011
Jim VanValkenburg, assistant principal violist for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, recently invited WSWS reporters into his home to discuss the lengthy strike by DSO musicians.
By Shannon Jones, 8 March 2011
Detroit Symphony Orchestra management has not responded to an offer by striking musicians to submit outstanding issues to binding arbitration.
By Shannon Jones, 3 March 2011
Dear Ms Williams:
By Shannon Jones, 2 March 2011
Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are offering to submit outstanding issues in their 22-week strike to binding arbitration in a new retreat by the union.
By Shannon Jones, 24 February 2011
Striking members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and supporters picketed Detroit Democratic Mayor Dave Bing’s annual state of the city address at Orchestra Hall after city officials refused to change the venue.
By Shannon Jones, 22 February 2011
In the wake of the rejection by striking musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra of management’s provocative “final offer,” DSO officials say they plan to permanently replace strikers.
Management cancels rest of concert season
By Shannon Jones, 21 February 2011
Striking Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians rejected a management “final offer” after which DSO officials said they would cancel the balance of the 2010 – 2011 concert season.
By Shannon Jones, 16 February 2011
With the strike by musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in its 20th week, the Detroit News has launched another scurrilous attack on their struggle.
By Shannon Jones, 10 February 2011
Striking Detroit Symphony musicians face a management-imposed February 11 deadline. They face concession demands that would destroy the orchestra as a top-ranked ensemble.
By David Walsh, 27 January 2011
Striking musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are coming under immense pressure to accept major concessions, as symphony management holds over them the threat of canceling the entire season.
By Shannon Jones, 25 January 2011
Musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performed at a sold-out strike support concert Saturday broadcast live via webcast to audiences globally.
An interview with Heather Bird
By Jackie Warren, 25 January 2011
Heather Bird, a Manchester, England-based classical double bassist, created the “Guerilla Orchestra” in response to the savage cuts being made in music performance and education.
By Shannon Jones, 21 January 2011
Talks resumed Thursday in the strike by musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, now in its 16th week.
19 January 2011
Photographer and violist Hart Hollman has followed the DSO strike since Labor Day, 2010. DSO musicians are currently in the 15th week of the strike, which began on October 4, 2010
By Shannon Jones, 18 January 2011
A capacity audience of more than 650 heard striking DSO musicians and Vanguard Voices perform selections from the music of Rodgers and Hammerstein at a concert Saturday in Detroit.
By Shannon Jones, 14 January 2011
Detroit Symphony management issued a public attack on striking musicians now in their 15th week on strike against draconian concession demands.
By Shannon Jones and David Walsh, 10 January 2011
Rick Robinson, a bassist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and founder of the ensemble CutTime Players, recently shared his thoughts about the ongoing strike of DSO musicians with the World Socialist Web Site.
By Shannon Jones, 5 January 2011
Striking musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) are seeking to broaden their community support by holding a free public concert in downtown Detroit.
By Shannon Jones, 31 December 2010
The bitter conflict at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has entered its 13th week. Some sharp conclusions need to be drawn.
24 December 2010
In the eleventh week of their strike against the DSO, symphony musicians visited three homeless shelters in the city of Detroit to perform Christmas music concerts. The WSWS interviewed musicians and residents about the experience.
A conversation with violist Caroline Coade
By David Walsh, 23 December 2010
The WSWS recently spoke to violist Caroline Coade, a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which has been on strike for nearly 11 weeks.
By Shannon Jones, 18 December 2010
Management of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra has rejected a settlement proposed by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm and US Senator Carl Levin to end the nearly 11-week musicians’ strike.
By Shannon Jones, 17 December 2010
Management of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra cancelled the rest of its scheduled concerts for the month of December as the strike by musicians continues into its eleventh week.
Striking Detroit Symphony violinist: “No one ever imagined that we would be fighting to have a first-class orchestra in this town”
By Shannon Jones and David Walsh, 14 December 2010
The World Socialist Web Site recently interviewed Joe Striplin, a violinist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra since 1972.
By Shannon Jones, 13 December 2010
Detroit Symphony Orchestra management had to cancel a scheduled performance by Canadian string group Bowfire after stagehands and band members refused to cross a picket line set up by striking musicians.
By Shannon Jones, 10 December 2010
With the strike by musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra in its tenth week management is reiterating its demand for massive concessions.
By Shannon Jones, 3 December 2010
Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians, now in their ninth week on strike, face a critical turning point in their conflict, as well as major political and cultural questions.
By Shannon Jones, 23 November 2010
Striking members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performed a support concert November 21 conducted by Uriel Segal, the fourth concert organized by the players since their strike began October 4.
The Detroit Symphony strike and the defense of culture in the US
23 November 2010
Mehring Books is publishing a talk given by David Walsh, WSWS arts editor, on the social and historical significance of the strike by DSO musicians.
By Shannon Jones, 20 November 2010
Musicians of the Louisville Orchestra in Kentucky are facing an ultimatum to take steep pay and job cuts while musicians in the Fort Worth Symphony, Texas, narrowly approved harsh concessions.
A talk by WSWS arts editor David Walsh
By David Walsh, 18 November 2010
WSWS arts editor David Walsh spoke to a meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan on November 15.
By Shannon Jones, 18 November 2010
The ISSE and SEP held a meeting at the University of Michigan November 15 in Ann Arbor to discuss the broader social and cultural implication of the strike by members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
By James Brewer, 17 November 2010
Musicians conducted a strong picket of a performance by the Vienna Boys Choir which DSO management held at Orchestra Hall in Detroit.
By Marc Wells, 12 November 2010
The WSWS recently spoke to a number of musicians in Hollywood, who expressed support for and solidarity with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra players.
By Shannon Jones, 9 November 2010
Striking members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra held another support concert Sunday night as their walkout enters its sixth week.
SEP public meeting
4 November 2010
Musicians in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra are striking against attempts by DSO management to force through a 33 percent cut in base pay and reduction in the pay for new-hires of 42 percent, along with sharply reduced health coverage and a freeze in pensions. The musicians have insisted that at stake are not only their own living conditions, but the future of the orchestra itself.
By Shannon Jones, 26 October 2010
Members of the Cleveland Orchestra joined striking members of the Detroit Symphony at an October 24 support concert before a sellout crowd of 700.
By a WSWS reporting team, 25 October 2010
The Detroit Symphony Orchestra strike has received support from symphony musicians in New York City.
Interview with striking Detroit Symphony violist Hart Hollman
By Shannon Jones, 19 October 2010
Hart Hollman, a violist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra for 38 years, spoke to WSWS reporters Saturday about the ongoing strike by musicians, and its cultural and social implications.
By Shannon Jones, 18 October 2010
Members of the Cleveland Orchestra are planning to join striking DSO musicians at an October 24 support concert.
By Lawrence Porter, 13 October 2010
D’Artagnan Collier, SEP candidate for the Michigan state legislature, spoke to Detroit Symphony Orchestra strikers and supporters at an October 10 concert.
By Shannon Jones, 12 October 2010
Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians, on strike since October 4, received a warm and enthusiastic response from supporters at a concert Sunday in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills.
By David Walsh, 7 October 2010
On the third day of a strike by Detroit Symphony Orchestra players, DSO management held a press conference at Orchestra Hall Wednesday morning to put forward its case.
By Kate Randall, 6 October 2010
A recent column in the Detroit News, “Cost of DSO too rich for Detroit,” lashes out against striking Detroit Symphony Orchestra musicians and those supporting their struggle against management’s draconian contract demands.
5 October 2010
Members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra have gone on strike against demands by management that include a 33 percent cut in base pay. The World Socialist Web Site spoke to several musicians participating in a picket on October 4.
By Shannon Jones, 5 October 2010
Members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra have gone on strike against demands by management that include a 33 percent cut in base pay.
By Shannon Jones, 29 September 2010
Detroit symphony musicians are set to strike October 4 as a final negotiating session failed to produce an agreement
By Shannon Jones, 21 September 2010
With management of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra demanding draconian concessions, musicians are reaching out for public support in advance of a September 23 contract deadline.