In news that didn't bode well for its stability, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra has canceled the first two weeks of its new season after failing to reach an agreement with its musicians union. The new season was scheduled to begin this Friday.
Citing financial troubles, the ISO was unable to come to terms with its musicians, whose contract had expired on Sept. 2. Though the musicians union had proposed a two-month extension of the existing contract and a 17% salary reduction, the ISO held firm on deeper cost-cutting demands, which reportedly include a 40% pay cut and a shortening of musicians' contracts from 52 weeks to 38. Management also wants to reduce the size of the orchestra from 87 musicians to 69.
In response to the concessions by the musicians' union, the symphony said a continuation of the existing contract “would only exacerbate the ISO’s already difficult financial challenges.”
In the same prepared statement cited by the Indianapolis Business Journal, the ISO also said, “The gap between what the musicians union is proposing and what is essential to economically sustain the ISO’s future is just too great.”