San Antonio Symphony concerts postponed amid ongoing musicians' strike

click to enlarge San Antonio Symphony musicians and supporters picketed outside the Tobin Center on Oct. 12. - Sanford Nowlin
Sanford Nowlin
San Antonio Symphony musicians and supporters picketed outside the Tobin Center on Oct. 12.
The first two concerts of the San Antonio Symphony's planned 2021-2022 season have been postponed due to the musicians' ongoing strike over what they argue are unfair labor practices.

The Oct. 29-30 Radiant Rachmaninoff and Nov. 5-6 Mendelssohn Violin Concerto concerts were officially postponed earlier this week.

"Due to the ongoing Musicians’ Union strike, this concert has been postponed," a notice accompanying the concert listings on the Tobin Center and Symphony websites reads. "If you hold tickets to a postponed concert, a San Antonio Symphony Box Office representative will contact you directly over the phone to ensure you understand the rescheduling process and your ticketing options."

The Symphony hasn't announced new dates for the affected performances. However, a representative for the Symphony Society told the Current via email that arrangements are being made to reschedule them for Spring 2022.

At press time, tickets were still on sale for the Nov. 19-20 Russian Masters concert.

The orchestra's musicians have been on strike since late September, after the Symphony Society voted to impose a new contract that would make drastic cuts.

On Tuesday, the Symphony Society issued the following statement about the concert postponements:

"Out of consideration for our constituents, the Symphony Society of San Antonio will issue concert postponement notices with sufficient notice prior to a scheduled performance if a labor agreement has not been reached. Musicians and guest artists, our audience, and our business partners all deserve advance notice, as each will be impacted by these changes to our Classics performances originally scheduled for Oct. 29-30 and Nov. 5-6. Each performance requires significant promotional planning and cancelling events without necessary notice would result in wasted expense. We know this is disappointing, and we appreciate your continued support as we navigate this challenging time. We look forward to bringing orchestral music back to the stage soon."

Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony Chair Mary Ellen Goree told the Express-News this week that the Symphony Society had made overtures to resume negotiations, but it wouldn't agree to the musicians' condition that the board withdraw the disputed contract.

"It is obvious that the Symphony Society cannot present concerts without an orchestra on the stage," Goree told the Current in an email.

"It should also be obvious that the musicians cannot reasonably be expected to present another proposal to the Symphony Society as long as the SSA’s own 'last, best, and final' terms remain imposed. "

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Kelly Nelson

Kelly Nelson is a digital content editor for the San Antonio Current.


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