Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He produces the Café Concerts series and the podcast/show Conducting Business. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
Philadelphia Orchestra Moves its Season-Opening Concert
Monday, October 10, 2011 - 10:37 PM
It's not just the NBA having season-opening troubles.
The Philadelphia Orchestra and its musicians reached a tentative agreement late last week, but their venue, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, is having labor issues of its own: members of Local 8 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees have gone on strike.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that management has decided to move it from Verizon Hall to Irvine Auditorium at the University of Pennsylvania as it was unsure whether an agreement can be reached in time for the orchestra’s opening night on Oct. 13.
"We wholeheartedly support the efforts of the Kimmel Center to reach an agreement with its respective labor unions in a manner that is responsible for all of the arts organizations to thrive within Philadelphia," said orchestra Executive Vice President Ari Solotoff in a statement.
"However, the Opening Night Concert and Gala is an important night for our Orchestra and more importantly, for our patrons."
The 111-year-old orchestra has blamed skyrocketing rent at the Kimmel Center, as well as musicians' pension costs for the decision to file for bankruptcy protection in April. As with many large American orchestras, Philadelphia has grappled with declining ticket sales and donations and a shrinking endowment over the last decade.