More holiday concerts featuring the Fort Wayne Philharmonic have been canceled, stemming from an ongoing strike involving musicians. Our partners at WPTA-TV report the Philharmonic musicians and board have been unable to come to reach “fair terms” for a new contract.
The annual Holiday Pops performances at the Embassy Theatre on Dec. 17 and 18, as well as a performance on Friday at the Auer Performance Hall, have been canceled.
Fort Wayne Philharmonic Players’ Association Chairperson Campbell MacDonald said the musicians have met with management several times to address “unacceptable rates of pay”, but have not been able to reach an agreement.
According to MacDonald, the musicians’ salaries were cut to $22,000 during the pandemic and haven’t been increased since, and musicians are now asking for a 46% salary increase.
The Fort Wayne Philharmonic’s website offers the following update regarding its concerts:
“We are sorry to disappoint you, our loyal audiences. Unfortunately, without musicians, who remain on strike, we are unable to offer this weekend’s Messiah and Holiday Pops performances. If you are holding tickets for one of these performances, we ask you to consider exchanging your ticket for another performance this season. Your small gesture of kindness will help the Philharmonic stay committed to our high artistic standards and the integrity of the Philharmonic and our musicians to maintain a quality orchestra that our community deserves.
The public is anxious for the return of Philharmonic concerts, and our desire is to reach a contract agreement that is fair to our musicians and ensures that the Philharmonic is sustainable for years to come.”
According to the station, the next negotiation meeting is planned for Dec. 27.