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The Musicians Union v. the L.A. Chamber Orchestra

December 06, 1987

As a charter playing member under Neville Marriner for nine years, its orchestra manager for five, a current subscriber, and a very concerned member of our musicians union, I feel further clarification is essential.

The orchestra itself is very much in tune with its new music director, Iona Brown. Previous to her appointment, despite distasteful and intimidating tactics of those few who opposed her, she won a strong secret-ballot vote of confidence, and has since strengthened her acceptance with the group and the public with proven artistic achievement.

A majority of the orchestra is against pursuing the lawsuit instigated by its two disengaged members, which could possibly threaten its very existence and/or incur great expense to the musicians union.

With no breach of contract (tenure having been rejected by the orchestra), I see no validity or justification for a lawsuit. It is regrettable that the L.A.C.O. management carried out its intent in such an abrupt manner, but the end result was inevitable, as both factions were definitely on a collision course.

Unlike President Bernie Fleischer's (Local 47) contention that "only a few disgruntled, jealous (of what?) dissidents are contesting the action," a recent hastily called meeting of musicians attracted a large number (many more than anticipated) who expressed overwhelming opposition to the lawsuit.

Much was heard expressing disdain and revulsion at the union's unprecedented dissemination of leaflets at an opening concert proclaiming "DO NOT APPLAUD IONA BROWN" in bold, large print.

The union has much more pressing financial problems than taking on a frivolous lawsuit of this proportion and could well concentrate its efforts on helping the entire membership.

Let those who feel offended pursue their individual gripes with individual action and not allow one of our home-grown cultural treasures to go down the drain.



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