The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is relocating two season-opening concerts from its Strathmore venue in North Bethesda to Baltimore because of an ongoing labor dispute with ticket sellers.
Performances of “Bruch and Sibelius,” featuring violinist Randall Goosby, and “Recovered Voices” will take place on their originally scheduled dates, Sept. 25 and Oct. 2, but will be presented at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall.
The Music Center at Strathmore is in contract negotiations with the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE), the union that represents ticket sellers, over the future of the front ticket office. At the same time, the BSO is also in negotiations with Strathmore to finalize its annual license agreement for performances of the 2021-2022 season at the venue, where it is a founding partner.
The BSO said in a statement that it was moving the concerts to allow Strathmore and the ticket sellers union the opportunity to resolve the dispute, while also avoiding the possibility that its own union members would be forced to choose a side in the labor dispute.
“The BSO is excited to return to The Music Center and to share the experience of our extraordinary Orchestra in our second home with our Strathmore patrons,” said Tonya McBride Robles, BSO vice president and chief operating officer. “ … While a difficult decision, moving a few performances from Strathmore ensures we can successfully open the subscription season without putting our musicians and crew in a position of deciding whether to cross a picket line.”
Two years ago this month, BSO was enduring its own bitter labor dispute with its musicians union. Since then, it has negotiated a five-year contract that guarantees performances through 2025.
Strathmore patrons will be offered complimentary parking in Baltimore or bus transportation to the venue. Ticket holders can also choose to watch the concerts virtually via livestream or exchange their tickets for another performance.
Proof of vaccination and masking are required for the relocated performances.