Nashville Symphony musicians are standing by their orchestra and declining to comment on the ensemble’s current financial situation. Two weeks ago, the orchestra’s board of directors voted not to renew a letter of credit on about $100 million in bond and debt obligations related to the construction of the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Symphony management hopes to renegotiate the amount it owes to the banks.
The Nashville Musicians Association, Local 257 of the American Federation of Musicians, released the following statement:
Nashville, Tenn. – April 1, 2013 – The relationship between the Musicians, Staff and Board of Directors of the Nashville Symphony Association is enviable when compared with many other orchestras throughout the United States, and certainly far from where it was when the orchestra filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 1988.
The current financial situation facing the Nashville Symphony is attributable to multiple economic factors, most of which are not within the control of Symphony leadership. The Board of Directors and a long list of community and corporate supporters, along with the committed and dedicated Symphony staff and musicians, are responsible for creating and supporting a world class orchestra and concert hall.
The musicians’ contract between the Nashville Musicians Association, Local 257 AFM and the Nashville Symphony Association expires on July 31, 2013. We realize that we will not escape a discussion about the current economic position, but we will do so in a professional, respectful and considerate manner behind closed doors. At this time we believe that it would be neither prudent nor productive to entertain that discussion in the public view or before a conclusion to a refinancing plan for the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Many of our colleagues in orchestras across the United States are dealing with their own situations; some with tragic results such as lockouts and strikes. We support all of our colleagues as they stand against malicious boards and managers to bring music to their communities.
The Nashville Symphony musicians support our management team and board of directors and are thankful and grateful for the support from all of our patrons, supporters and the community.
It is our hope that the current discussion with the banks will ultimately be about the importance of great art and music within the fabric of any community and especially Nashville – Music City. Music of all genres is deeply rooted in the lives of all citizens of Nashville. We are incredibly fortunate and blessed to have a treasure such as Schermerhorn Symphony Center and a world class orchestra.