About a year after their last performance, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and the Pikes Peak Musicians Association entered into a new three-year contract that will bring professional orchestral music back to the region. The new contract will begin with a reduced number of concerts and rehearsals for the 2021-2022 season, as well as reduced salaries for musicians. For the next two seasons, the number of performances and the remuneration of the musicians will gradually increase. The new agreement will include health and safety protections, flexible working hours and plans for organizational growth. It replaces the previous agreement which was contested last fall and led the musicians to stop playing.
In a press release, Colorado Springs Philharmonic President and CEO Nathan Newbrough said he was optimistic about the future of the organization. “For 95 years, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic has grown, overcome obstacles and continue to deliver thrilling performances,” he said. “This new agreement is more than numbers or compromises made. What resonates is the return of our world-class musicians and the best audiences in the world.
Jeremy Van Hoy, chairman of the Orchestra Players Committee and bass trombonist at the Philharmonic, echoed Newbrough’s enthusiasm. “This new three-year agreement will provide all of us with much-needed jobs,” he said. “We look forward to presenting exciting new programs with our Music Director Josep Caballé-Domenech and Associate Music Director Thomas Wilson to all of our loyal patrons and other music lovers. ”
Sarah Wilson, president of the American Federation of Musicians at Local 154 and cellist at the Philharmonic, said the musicians’ union agreed to pay cuts to return to work. “We hope that a bold artistic vision will be the main motivation for the future decisions of the Philharmonic Orchestra and artists will be valued accordingly,” she said in the organization’s press release. “This way we can continue to attract and retain talented professionals who make music.”
The Colorado Springs Philharmonic will be back on stage for performances of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” in conjunction with the Oklahoma City Ballet for Thanksgiving weekend. More details will be announced in the coming weeks.