Colorado Symphony Orchestra musicians have agreed to a 12.5 percent pay cut and up to four weeks of unpaid leave as the orchestra copes with the economic downturn.
The cuts are included in the new contract between musicians and the Colorado Symphony Association, announced jointly Tuesday. The contract covers that 2009-2010 season, already under way, and the 2010 summer season.
“The severe economic recession has put orchestras all over the country under financial stress,” the joint statement said. “The Colorado Symphony Orchestra faces difficult challenges created by the recession, but the musicians and the Symphony Association have worked collaboratively to reach an agreement that will allow the orchestra to maintain a full schedule, operate responsibly within a balanced budget and, most importantly, ensure the excellence of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.”
The contract also calls for employer contributions to the musicians’ retirement fund to be suspended.
“The musicians of the Colorado Symphony Orchestra are making extraordinary sacrifices,” Kevin Duncan, chairman of the Symphony Association Board of Trustees, said in the joint statement. “Those sacrifices underscore the dedication of the musicians to maintaining the superb quality of the Orchestra and their commitment to the community. On behalf of Symphony Association trustees, I want to thank the musicians for the spirit of cooperation they brought to the discussions that led to this agreement. It was truly a collaborative effort.”
“The musicians and trustees of the Colorado Symphony are glad to have the negotiations behind us and look forward to a very exciting year,” CSO principal percussionist John Kinzie, who led the contract talks for the musicians, said in the statement. “The musicians are grateful for the board’s dedication to, and continuing passion for the Colorado Symphony Orchestra.”