Dear Seattle Symphony Family,

It is with optimism that we write to you today to let you know that the Musicians of the Seattle Symphony, members of the Seattle Symphony and Opera Players’ Organization (SSOPO), have extended our current collective bargaining agreement with Symphony management through January 31st, 2013.

As a result, Symphony musicians continued their performances this weekend, presenting audiences with a great variety of music, from Beethoven’s “Fidelio” to Gabriel Prokofiev’s “Concerto for Turntable and Orchestra.”

It remains our hope to reach an agreement in such a way that no scheduled concerts are adversely affected. With that goal, we continue to work with management in a respectful and collaborative manner in hopes of reaching an agreement.

After years of concessions made by the Musicians, dating back to 2005 and totaling more than $9.6 million, we look optimistically to the future and a new era for the Symphony. Last season, after several years of financial insecurity, the Symphony was reborn with a new music director, executive director and board chair. We entered this era with great anticipation and excitement, achieving amazing collaborations between the management, board and community. Through innovative programming and excellent performances, the Seattle community has a reinvigorated interest in our Symphony.

The Seattle Symphony is now playing on a national stage. We’ve commissioned works from some of America’s most influential composers and have been invited to play a terrific new work at Carnegie Hall. Brilliant players from around the world, including stellar orchestral musicians from some of the most prestigious stages anywhere, are now coming to Seattle to join the orchestra at this pivotal time and strengthen its core.

We very much appreciate the hard work and dedication shown by management during these difficult economic times. It is a testament to Symphony management, board, donors and musicians that last year’s annual fund campaign raised more money than ever before and it is through the partnership between these groups that the Symphony has achieved a balanced budget in the 2011/12 season. These signs all point to the economic growth and sustainability that a new era is bringing.

We feel a great responsibility to protect the artistic integrity and standard of excellence that have elevated the Seattle Symphony to new heights and we are passionately committed to its success.
It is our mission to inspire our public through the gift of music, and to appear on stage at venues throughout the region. We ask you, our community, to support us as we continue to work toward a sound agreement reflective of our commitment to the Symphony and the Seattle arts community.

Please visit this web site for the latest negotiation updates and information about our concert appearances throughout the community. We hope to see you at Benaroya Hall and McCaw Hall this week and thank you for your continued support.

Sincerely,

David Sabee
Acting Chair, SSOPO

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