Saturday, August 30, 2014
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Philadelphia Orchestra talks with union continue in Saratoga Springs

While the Philadelphia Orchestra Association's chapter 11 case continues in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Philadelphia, talks with the musicians' union pick up this weekend in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where the orchestra spends part of the summer each year.

Philadelphia Orchestra talks with union continue in Saratoga Springs

While the Philadelphia Orchestra Association's chapter 11 case continues in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Philadelphia, talks with the musicians' union pick up this weekend in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., where the orchestra spends part of the summer each year.

George H. Cohen, the chief of federal mediators from Washington, D.C., won't be there this time. He's concluded that as long as neither side is willing to budge on the pension dispute, there's no point in his continued presence, according to sources.

The Association still wants to end its participation in the American Federation of Musicians' defined benefit pension and move musicians to a defined contribution plan. The national union, fearing that the idea will spread to other U.S. orchestras, is putting considerable muscle into the fight.

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

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