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Bankruptcy Relief Sought By Symphony

August 26, 1986| From United Press International

OAKLAND — The Oakland Symphony Assn. has filed for reorganization under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy law in a move seen as the first step toward voiding its contract with union musicians.

Association officials said they needed to file for reorganization so they could proceed with plans for a concert schedule reduced from 73 to 36 events for next season.

The association's board of directors, with an average yearly debt of $300,000--and an anticipated deficit of $800,000 for 1986-87--asked the musicians to accept a 30% pay cut as part of the reduced season proposal.

"We regard these as highly positive efforts to put the Oakland Symphony on a sound footing and to assure the successful completion of next season," chairman Jean Wente said.

Mark Drury, chairman of the Oakland Symphony Players Committee, was not available for comment but previously had said a vote on proposed wage cuts would not be possible until at least next month.

A spokeswoman for the orchestra said Monday that season subscriptions are still being sold and that fund-raising activities and grant proposals are being planned to help reduce the debt. About 5,000 subscriptions were sold last season, during which the orchestra suffered a musicians' strike.

"We won't know how the musicians will vote until just before the first concert (on Sept. 24)," she said, noting that shortly after the reduced season was announced last month the players filed an unfair-labor charge with the National Labor Relations Board. "If they (orchestra members) don't accept the new proposal, we may have to fold," she said.

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