Over the past two weeks the financially troubled San Antonio Symphony saw its season cut dramatically short, a board chair resign, another chair take over, and now, a re-established season with a new musicians’ union contract.
A new contract was ratified Thursday afternoon by the union, and is expected to be approved by the Symphony Society of San Antonio, the group that manages the symphony, said musicians’ union representative Craig Sorgi.
"It was probably the most pleasant negotiating meeting I have ever been in, in 36 years in this orchestra," he said.
The contract will keep nearly all its scheduled performances, he said. While the contract is essentially an extension of the old one, Sorgi said there could be a marketing sea change.
“It's an electronic media agreement which will finally bring the San Antonio Symphony into the 21st century,” he said. “It's going to enable management to stream and make available digitally archival recordings as well as live recordings. We will be out there with all of the other orchestras like Detroit and Chicago and Pittsburgh.”
He credits new Symphony Society board chair Kathleen Weir Vale for embracing this innovation.
“She said, … 'This is a no-brainer,' ” he said.
Sorgi credited public support through donations for saving the symphony’s season.
"This is really a community effort now, and that is something that the musicians have wanted for a long time," he said.
Jack Morgan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org