Nashville Symphony Musicians Ratify Contract

August 27, 2013

NASHVILLE (August 27, 2013) The Nashville Musicians Association, AFM Local 257 and the Nashville Symphony Association announced today that the orchestra musicians have ratified a new one-year contract. The contract will go into effect immediately and will run through July 31, 2014.

The agreement comes after three months of negotiations between the Nashville Musicians Association and the Symphony Association, which have focused on building a secure, sustainable future for the orchestra while maintaining an unwavering commitment to artistic excellence and community service. The terms of the contract include a 15 percent reduction in the musicians’ pay, which is similar in scope to the recent cuts in total compensation and benefits taken by members of the administrative staff.

“We are profoundly grateful to our musicians for their spirit of shared sacrifice,” says Nashville Symphony President & CEO Alan Valentine. “We were able to reach these mutually agreeable terms through a genuinely collaborative effort and a common desire to serve the people of Middle Tennessee. We are especially pleased that the new contract will allow us to continue offering the same high level of programming for our audiences, and it will also provide increased opportunities for the orchestra to go out into the city and engage everyone in our community even more actively than ever before.”

The salary concessions are part of a comprehensive financial restructuring that the Symphony has undertaken in response to the difficult economic conditions that have plagued the organization since the start of the 2008 recession, and which were exacerbated by the May 2010 flood. Taken in tandem with other restructuring efforts, which include reducing debt service costs by more than 90 percent, these cuts will enable the Symphony to lower its annual operating costs by a total of $6 million, or 29 percent of this year’s operating budget.

“This has been a difficult time for the Nashville Symphony and its musicians,” says violinist Laura Ross, who, as union steward, serves as a member of the negotiating team. “As challenging as this agreement will be for many of our musicians, it was ratified because we believe our role in this community is important. We continue to serve Nashville and Middle Tennessee with the same level of commitment and look forward to a revitalized and rededicated Nashville Symphony. We are fortunate to live in a vibrant arts community that supports excellence.”

Dave Pomeroy, President of the Nashville Musicians Association, adds, “This one-year contract is a stopgap measure that provides a way to keep the music playing in the Schermerhorn at the high artistic level Nashville has come to expect. These musicians will be working much more for considerably less money, and their collective sacrifice is a testimony to their ongoing commitment to our community. We look forward to working with the Symphony Association towards a mutual goal of restoring NSO salaries to a level commensurate with their world-class talent as soon as possible.”

The Nashville Symphony’s 2013/14 season will begin, as scheduled, on September 5-7 with “Russian Spectacular,” featuring music by Mussorgsky, Prokofiev and Shostakovich. “The Nashville Symphony’s Board of Directors has worked diligently to guide this invaluable institution on a path toward continued success and sustainability,” says Board Chair Ed Goodrich. “We hope that everyone in our community will take this opportunity to celebrate by coming out to hear the Nashville Symphony this season. It is the community’s support that has allowed us to accomplish so much, from the building of Schermerhorn Symphony Center to the orchestra’s growing list of GRAMMY® Awards, and it is the community’s support that will help us thrive into the future.” 


ABOUT THE NASHVILLE SYMPHONY: Founded in 1946, the GRAMMY® Award-winning Nashville Symphony has earned an international reputation for its innovative programming and its commitment to performing, recording and commissioning works by America’s leading composers. The Nashville Symphony has released 19 recordings on Naxos, which have received 14 GRAMMY® nominations and seven GRAMMY® Awards, making NSO one of the most active recording orchestras in the country. With more than 140 performances annually, the orchestra offers a broad range of classical, pops and jazz, and children’s concerts, while its extensive education and community engagement programs inspire 100,000 children and adults each year.

Contact: Laurie Davis, Publicist. 615.687.6565. [email protected]

ABOUT THE NASHVILLE MUSICIANS ASSOCIATION: For more than 110 years, the Nashville Musicians Association has been representing and protecting the interests of the finest musicians in Music City, including the Nashville Symphony, touring musicians, studio players, live performers and much more. AFM Local 257 has negotiated agreements with the Grand Ole Opry, Nashville Symphony, Country Music Television, and many more national and local agreements for sound recordings, television, film, jingles and live engagements. Our 2500 members include Vince Gill, Bela Fleck, Taylor Swift, Keith Urban, Chris Thile, Dolly Parton, Edgar Meyer, and The Kings of Leon.

Contact: Kathy Osborne at 615.244.9514 x225. [email protected]