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The Philadelphia Orchestra Association and the Musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra Invest in the Future with New Four-Year Contract

March 12, 2019

 Agreement includes annual wage increase and addition of two members to the Orchestra

Sunday afternoon concerts to increase to 18 per season, in response to community interest 

Agreement reached six months before expiration of current contract;

first early agreement in modern history of the Orchestra

(Philadelphia, March 12, 2019)—The Philadelphia Orchestra Association and the Musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra today jointly announce the ratification of a new four-year collective bargaining agreement, effective September 16, 2019, through September 10, 2023. Completed six months prior to the expiration of the current contract—a first in the modern history of the Orchestra—the new agreement represents a joint investment in the organization’s future.

Under the terms of the new agreement, the Orchestra’s complement will increase by two positions over the course of the four-year term: one in 2020-21 and one in 2022-23. Additionally, musician salaries will increase over the term of the contract: 2% in year one, 2.5% in year two, 2.5% in year three, and 3% in year four. In response to community interest, the number of Sunday concerts will increase from 12 to 18 per season.

“With this pathbreaking agreement, our intention is to position The Philadelphia Orchestra for an artistically exciting and financially robust future—for all the people of Philadelphia and the many, many fans of the Orchestra across the country and around the world,” said Richard B. Worley, chairman of the Board. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to thank all involved for their good faith negotiations and commitment to a strong and healthy institution.”

“This early agreement is the fruit of years of work invested in strengthening relationships among Musicians, the Board of Directors, Administrative Staff, Volunteers, and all of our stakeholders. This allows us to look to the future with confidence,” said William Polk, chair of the Negotiating Committee of the Orchestra. “I would like to thank Chairman Richard B. Worley and the Board of Directors of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association for their wise stewardship of our, and Philadelphia’s, treasured institution. I would also like to offer my thanks to President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky and his able administrative team for engaging with us in a straightforward and respectful process. The Musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra are proud to represent this great city by continuing to set the highest standards for music performance, both at home and on the world stage.”

“Through this unprecedented early and long-term agreement, the Musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra and the Board of Directors and Administrative Staff of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association send a powerful message to the people of Philadelphia: this is your Orchestra, and together we are focused on creating our brightest future ever,” said Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. “My sincere thanks to all for moving swiftly and sincerely through the negotiation process, and for supporting fairness and stability. Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra are now poised to embrace an ever more exciting future.”

“The spirit of the process that brings us to this new agreement reflects the beauty of the musicians, of the people of the Association, and of The Philadelphia Orchestra as one whole passionate musical body that I have come to know and love, very much, in these seven years together,” said Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “We are here to engage in the joy of music, to be part of the heart and the soul of the beautiful communities of Philadelphia—and now we have a new, long horizon ahead of us. My deep thanks to all for this, for your generosity and commitment.”

Reflecting a commitment to collaboration and to building a bright future together, Association leadership and the Negotiating Committee of the Orchestra embarked on the negotiation process with goals of early ratification and equitable and responsible increases. The Negotiating Committee consists of chair William Polk, violin; Derek Barnes, cello; Holly Blake, contrabassoon; Gloria dePasquale, cello; David Fay, bass; and Joseph Parente, president of the Philadelphia Musicians’ Union, Local 77, American Federation of Musicians. Participating on behalf of the Association were President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky, Executive Director Ryan Fleur, and Director of Orchestra Personnel Marilyn Rife.



About The Philadelphia Orchestra



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Ashley Berke

Vice President of Communications



William Polk

Local 77/Musician Representative