As strike drags on, San Antonio Symphony cancels the remainder of its season

The cancellation comes days after the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony walked away from talks, accusing management of negotiating in bad faith.

click to enlarge Symphony musicians and supporters gather in front of the Tobin Center, the venue where the orchestra normally plays, as part of a labor rally. - Katelyn Earhart
Katelyn Earhart
Symphony musicians and supporters gather in front of the Tobin Center, the venue where the orchestra normally plays, as part of a labor rally.
The San Antonio Symphony, mired in a seven-month-long strike by its musicians, has scrapped the rest of its 2021-22 concert season.

The arts organization posted the news on its website Tuesday and sent an email to ticket holders, saying it wants to continue negotiating with the musicians on a contract that "achieves both financial stability and sustainability."

On May 5, the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony (MOSAS) walked away from federally mediated talks with the Symphony Society, the nonprofit that runs the orchestra. MOSAS accused management of negotiating in bad faith and refusing to rethink a $5 million budget the musicians described as arbitrary.

The musicians called a strike Sept. 27, 2021 after management proposed slashing the number of full-time musicians in the orchestra from 72 to 42, eliminating four positions and converting 26 more to part-time. Earlier this year, experts told the Current that the proposed cuts were "unheard of."

MOSAS musicians will perform Thursday and Friday as part of a short, self-produced concert series funded by a $100,000 grant. The 7:30 p.m. performances will take place at First Baptist Church under the direction of former Music Director Emeritus Sebastian Lang-Lessing. The musicians also will perform June 2-3 at the same venue.

Symphony management fired Lang-Lessing from his position as music director emeritus because he agreed to conduct the musicians, calling his move a violation of his contract.

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.

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