Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians, joined by workers from National Nurses United, Carpenters Union Local 197, American Federation of Teachers, and the Maryland Professional Employees Council, picket outside Meyerhoff Symphony Hall as the orchestra's labor dispute heads into Labor Day weekend. The locked-out musicians have still not come to an agreement with management, threatening the start of the season.
Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians, joined by workers from National Nurses United, Carpenters Union Local 197, American Federation of Teachers, and the Maryland Professional Employees Council, picket outside Meyerhoff Symphony Hall as the orchestra's labor dispute heads into Labor Day weekend. The locked-out musicians have still not come to an agreement with management, threatening the start of the season. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

A Baltimore Sun story describes the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians’ refusal to accept two management offers (“BSO musicians reject contract offer, jeopardizing season opening; no further talks scheduled," Sept. 11). The first offer included a proposal by a group of very generous donors to help the BSO and our musicians.

Brian Prechtl, co-chairperson and spokesperson for the musicians negotiating committee, criticized the state for not stepping in: “Just like that, the governor could solve this problem temporarily by releasing that money," he said. "We would be back at work this week. I can guarantee it.” Well, Mr. Prechtl, a group of donors agreed to provide extra support for a year so that music can happen while an honest and realistic assessment of the BSO business model is made. Who cares whether the money comes from the state or a group of private donors?

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I deeply admire our musicians and their artistry. However, it seems to me that our musicians have dragged their feet in scheduling negotiating sessions during this entire dispute rather than fully engaging in a negotiating process. Continued failure to do so will only prevent a beloved institution from functioning when we need to come together toward a bright future.

Dr. Marshall Levine, Stevenson

The writer is a member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Board.

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