Press Room

orchestra and chorus

Houston Symphony and Musicians Announce New Three-Year Contract

HOUSTON (October 29, 2018) — The Houston Symphony and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 65-699, announced that they’ve come to an agreement on a new three-year contract. The new agreement – which went into effect October 7 – covers the just opened 2018-2019 season, and extends through October 3, 2021.

Key points in the new agreement include:

• The organization and musicians agree to work as partners to give the organization major financial relief for the first year of the three-year contract. This means musicians will receive no increase in salary this season, with a 4% increase in 2019-2020 and a 4.1% increase coming in the 2020-2021 season. The current musicians’ base salary is $97,940. It will rise to $101,140 in 2019-2020, and to $105,300 in 2020-2021. The musicians worked with the Society to achieve cost savings in other areas of the contract to support these salary increases.

• New parents among the Symphony musicians get an additional 2 weeks of available sick leave during the first six months following their child’s birth or adoption.

“I want to thank the Musicians of the Houston Symphony for their constructive partnership over the course of these negotiations,” said Houston Symphony Executive Director/CEO and holder of the Margaret Alkek Williams Chair John Mangum. “I think we have a great outcome for all involved, with an agreement that takes into account the challenges we continue to face in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, but that also reaffirms our commitment to be one of America’s leading orchestras. My thanks to our musicians, board, and staff for all of the hard and thoughtful work that brought about this result.”

“On behalf of the board of directors I want to express our deep admiration for the musicians of the Houston Symphony,” said board president Janet Clark, “and our appreciation for their partnership in achieving the Symphony’s financial as well as artistic objectives.”

“It was a very successful negotiation,” said Lovie Smith-Wright, President of Local 65-699, A.F. M.. “We were able to achieve an agreement that propels the HSO forward to become one of the leading orchestras of the A.F.M. My thanks go out to the Musicians of the Houston Symphony, our attorney, Mel Schwarzwald, John Mangum, and his staff for the hard work and time spent to achieve the agreement.”

“On behalf of the board of directors I want to express our deep admiration for the musicians of the Houston Symphony,” said board president Janet Clark, “and our appreciation for their partnership in achieving the Symphony’s financial as well as artistic objectives.”

About the Houston Symphony
During the 2018-19 season, the Houston Symphony celebrates its fifth season with Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada and continues its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. The Houston Symphony, one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas, held its inaugural performance at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $33.9 million, the full-time ensemble of 88 professional musicians presents nearly 170 concerts annually, making it the largest performing arts organization in Houston. Additionally, musicians of the orchestra and the Symphony’s four Community-Embedded Musicians offer over 900 community-based performances each year, reaching thousands of people in Greater Houston.

The Grammy Award-winning Houston Symphony has recorded under various prestigious labels, including Naxos, Koch International Classics, Telarc, RCA Red Seal, Virgin Classics and, most recently, Dutch recording label PENTATONE. In 2017, the Houston Symphony was awarded an ECHO Klassik award for the live recording of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck under the direction of former Music Director Hans Graf. The orchestra earned its first Grammy nomination and Grammy Award at the 60th annual ceremony for the same recording in the Best Opera Recording category.

For tickets and more information, please visit houstonsymphony.org or call 713-224-7575.

HOUSTON SYMPHONY MEDIA CONTACT:
Eric Skelly: (713) 337-8650, eric.skelly@houstonsymphony.org
Mireya Reyna: (713) 337-8557, mireya.reyna@houstonsymphony.org

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