The labor news about the Spokane Symphony and its musicians is distressing.
I have known this orchestra’s performances since coming to Spokane in 1963, and I reviewed the orchestra’s performances in The Spokesman-Review from 1978 until my retirement in 2010. The Spokane Symphony is at the peak of its form. Audiences would be loath to see labor problems lead to a further deterioration of musician morale, and so a deterioration in the quality of the orchestra’s performances. Worse still would be a loss of key performers.
I remember a guest conductor telling me during an interview some years ago, “You people here in Spokane have a much better orchestra than you deserve.” He meant “better” considering the puny pay players receive and the amount contributors give to the organization.
We all know and respect the contributions that members of the administrative staff have made to the orchestra’s financial and artistic health, and I hope that subscribers will join me in contributing their ticket costs in supporting the orchestra.
It is vitally important that both the symphony board and the musicians continue negotiating in good faith with the view to preserving the high quality of symphonic music we enjoy in Spokane.