Musicians of the Cleveland Orchestra declared a strike as of midnight. Mediation is scheduled for today. In doubt are upcoming residencies in South Florida and Indiana - the kind of out-of-Cleveland engagements the orchestra has been pursuing to expand support where it can find it.
"We are officially on strike effective at midnight tonight," said Jeffrey Rathbun, oboist and chair of the musicians’ negotiating committee, in a statement released by a publicist last night. "Starting tomorrow we will be picketing in front of our beautiful home, Severance Hall. The acoustics of the hall are amongst the best in the world so we expect our protest to reverberate loudly and, hopefully, to resonate with music lovers everywhere.
"We regret that it appears we will not be going to our residency at Indiana University and we send apologies to the students, faculty and alumni. We also regret that we will not be playing in our winter home at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and trust that our friends and supporters in Miami understand that if we played, it would be a great series of concerts in the short term and the beginning of the end of the quality that they, and people everywhere, have come to expect from The Cleveland Orchestra."
Orchestra executive director Gary Hanson said: “We have every reason to believe that with mediation good will and good judgment will prevail the bargaining table. In the event of an extended work stoppage we have plans to reschedule any concerts which could be canceled.”