Local News

New talks may help end symphony strike

SPOKANE, Wash. - The show might go on. The management and musicians of the Spokane Symphony will return to the bargaining table this week in an effort to reach a contract agreement before "The Nutcracker" ballet begins.

The ballet opens next Thursday, and it's the difference of hearing the music from the orchestra or from recorded music.

Symphony musicians went on strike Nov. 3, nearly one month ago. They say management proposed a two-year contract with about a 13-percent pay cut. The 68 musicians in the symphony rejected that contract but said they would take a six-percent pay cut.

Symphony strike update

This dispute has already led to five symphony cancellations, but both sides hope they can reach an agreement before next week.

"We value the musicians. They are the performers and we want to resolve this so we can get back to working, performing, and being the community asset the symphony is," Symphony board president Peter Moye said.

"The Spokane Symphony exists to provide great live music for the Inland Northwest so everyone in the organization -- the board, staff, musicians -- we all need to be on board to getting back to that," Orchestra committee chairman Adam Wallstein said.

Wallstein said the symphony would need to start rehearsal two days before the first performance to be ready, so if this contract dispute is not settled by next Tuesday, recorded music would be used for the Nutcracker performance next Thursday.

There are a total of five performances of The Nutcracker at the Fox scheduled between Dec. 6 and 9.

The musicians of the Spokane Symphony will hold a benefit concert to raise money for lost wages this Saturday at the Westminster Congregational United Church of Christ. The church is located at 411 S Washington Street.

The doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 3 p.m. It is free and open to the public, but donations will be accepted.