Lee Hernandez is Morning Edition producer at WNYC.
Carnegie Hall Cancels Opening Night Concert After Union Strike
Wednesday, October 02, 2013
There will be no opening night concert at Carnegie Hall on Wednesday. The organization has canceled its season-opening performance after a strike by the local stagehands union.
some of them make more tan 400-thousand a year....some more...than finance director ...
Negotiations between the Local International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees and Carnegie Hall broke down Tuesday night and union leaders called for a strike on Wednesday morning.
The dispute between the union and Carnegie Hall is over the hall's new education wing. Carnegie Hall officials said the strike is an attempt to force Carnegie Hall to agree to the union’s demand for jurisdiction over the whole of the newly-created wing.
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall, said the union's involvement with the hall's education efforts would compromise the institution's mission.
Michael Cooper covers classical music for The New York Times. He said the company "dug a line in the sand" regarding the education wing. Some stagehands, he added, are among the highest paid employees at Carnegie Hall, with some making more than $400,000 a year.
It's the first strike in Carnegie Hall's history since it opened in the late 19th century, and it comes on a sad week for classical music fans. On Tuesday, City Opera announced it would be filing for bankruptcy, after failing to raise enough money to continue operations.
"This is really about the perils facing classical music in the 21st century," Cooper said.
, who covers classical music for The New York Times. "It really shows you how fragile the industry is right now."
Wednesday's concert was to feature The Philadelphia Orchestra, renowned violinist Joshua Bell and vocalist Esperanza Spalding. Cooper said it's a huge night for Carnegie Hall — last year's gala raised $2.7 million. Our sister station WQXR was supposed to broadcast Wednesday's concert. WQXR said the live broadcast will be replaced with an encore broadcast of last season’s performance by the Philadelphia Orchestra from Carnegie Hall, beginning at 7pm on WQXR 105.9 FM and www.wqxr.org.
Carnegie Hall said all future performances remain on schedule, and daily updates will be issued pending resolution of the strike.