PSO cancels concerts through Nov. 18 in wake of musicians' strike
October 17, 2016 11:58 PM
Musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra walk the picket line Sept. 30 in front of Heinz Hall, Downtown.
By Elizabeth Bloom / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Symphonic music won’t be returning to Heinz Hall any time soon.
The Pittsburgh Symphony canceled all orchestra events through Nov. 18 in the wake of the musicians’ strike, the organization announced Monday.
In addition, the PSO has postponed semi-staged performances of Haydn’s “The Creation,” scheduled for Dec. 2 and 4, due to the added production demands of that program. The organization said it will present an “alternate program” that weekend.
As a result, at least four of the 20 core classical concert weekends and two of the orchestra’s seven pops programs scheduled for this season will not take place.
“Regrettably, the musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have not contacted us through official channels to return to the negotiating table. We hope that we are able to resume talks soon. Because of this, we must cancel additional performances in consideration of our subscribers and ticket buyers to allow them to adjust plans and consider options,” Christian Schornich, senior vice president and COO, said in a statement. “We appreciate the continuing patience and understanding shown by our patrons during this time as we work to secure the artistic and financial future of the Pittsburgh Symphony.”
The canceled performances include programs led by guest conductors Leonard Slatkin and Gianandrea Noseda.
“This is a decision made by management, and management alone,” orchestra committee chairman and bassist Micah Howard said in a statement. “We are ready to negotiate an end to this dispute so the musicians can be back on stage at Heinz Hall. But management has repeatedly declared that they are unwilling to compromise — that they won’t even meet with us unless we accept the ‘last, best and final’ contract demands they made a month ago.
“Management’s claim that they are canceling concerts ‘because of the musicians’ strike’ is totally false. In fact, these concerts have been canceled because of management’s refusal to negotiate.”
The canceled concerts could be reinstated if the work stoppage ends, the symphony said. Ticket holders will be notified with options for exchanging, refunding or donating their tickets, and they can contact the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900.
Although the cancellations technically do not apply to non-symphony events, it is possible that outside artists scheduled to appear at Heinz Hall will cancel or postpone activities, especially because non-PSO members of the American Federation of Musicians are also barred from crossing the picket line. Comedian Brian Regan postponed his Oct. 8 show.
The affected shows are:
• Oct. 28-30: PNC Pops, The Midtown Men
• Nov. 4 and 6: BNY Mellon Grand Classics, “Music of Porgy & Bess.” Leonard Slatkin, conductor, Simone Porter, violin
• Nov. 11 and 13: BNY Mellon Grand Classics, “Fountains of Rome.” Gianandrea Noseda, conductor, Cynthia Koledo DeAlmeida, oboe
• Nov. 12: Fiddlesticks Family Concert
• Nov. 16-18: Fourth Grade Schooltime
• Nov. 18: Light Up Night community concert
• Postponed: Dec. 2 and 4: BNY Mellon Grand Classics, “Haydn’s Creation.” Manfred Honeck, conductor, various guest soloists, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh
Elizabeth Bloom: email@example.com, 412-263-1750 and Twitter: @BloomPG.
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