Spokane is blessed to have one of the premier symphonies in the country. With director Eckart Preu at its helm, the symphony is thriving musically. From free concerts in Comstock Park to bringing in the best of the best as guest performers, the symphony plays a vital role in our community through offering the highest caliber of the musical arts.
And so, we should all be concerned that the musicians are now on strike. Facing a contract with 13 percent cut to salaries and no guaranteed minimum salaries in the second year of the contract (which leaves the door open for further salary cuts), the symphony is at a crossroads. For the musicians who make their livelihood with the symphony, the incentive to stay is lessening by the day, as playing non-symphony shows to make ends meet is also restricted under the current contract.
Management needs to realize that if they don’t negotiate, the musicians will go elsewhere, and the symphony will cease to exist. We’ve got to give the best musicians around a reason to stick around – a contract reflecting the invaluable community resource they are.