Musicians and management find harmony in Milwaukee

Maybe there’s hope, yet, for orchestras.  Animosity and acrimony have been replaced by relief after the Milwaukee Symphony and it’s musicians agreed to contract extension terms, extending and modifying their collective bargaining agreement through the 2014-2015 season.

Music lovers can now only hope other orchestras use Milwaukee as a template to guide them to similar agreements.

The Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra seasons have been shut down to date because of management-labor disagreement.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra canceled a performance this season during a short-lived musicians’ strike before the two sides reached an agreement.

One thing that was most likely a huge help was that Mark Niehaus, MSO president and executive director, was an orchestra member until last September, when he became the orchestra’s top business administrator.  Maybe it’s time for our music schools to make certain performance majors are also taking some courses in business management.  It might make for a more harmonious future for the arts.

Read Milwaukee Symphony, extend agreement (Journal Sentinel)