Fitting it is, I think, that the musicians’ strike against the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra first hit on a Pops concert weekend. A 20-year attendee of virtually all of the Pops concerts in that time, I can tell you that the programming lately has been uninspired, attendance has dropped significantly (particularly since the death of Marvin Hamlisch) and the subscription audience appears to just get older and older. Naturally, then, revenues are down and there is less for the musicians’ pockets.
I don’t just blame the programming that needs to find a younger audience. The musicians need to realize that 10 weeks of paid vacation and all those expense-paid trips to Europe come at a cost, too.
Maybe both management and the musicians need to face the facts that a rock concert at the Consol (now PPG Paints Arena) is more entertaining to many than a Pops concert and that adjustments need to be made to address the competition.