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PSO Cancels Concerts As Musicians Continue Strike

Musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra

Members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra remain on strike and on the picket line. 

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has canceled symphony concerts through the end of October.

The PSO’s contract with its musicians expired earlier this month, following months of negotiations. 

"We’re going to continue on strike until we can come to an agreement," said Micah Howard, Chair of the PSO Committee. "Management refuses to meet with us right now, so we don’t know how we’re going to get to an agreement.” 

Howard said members were offered a 15 percent pay cut, freeze on closing of pensions and would see a reduction in the size of the orchestra.

PSO officials said it will see a $20 million deficit over the next five years – a figure Howard said is based on a speculative forecast, using conservative figures.

“Suddenly after 120 years, we’ve made it through world wars, the great depression, the great recession and we've maintained this orchestra,” Howard said. “Now suddenly with all the growth in the community (management) can no longer do it?"

In the past year, the symphony exceeded ticket expectations and broke its own record during its latest fund campaign.

A representative with the PSO said Monday afternoon “there is no status change to report” and declined to comment further on the strike.

PSO musicians will still participate in the Day of Music, and perform free concerts across the city on Tuesday

Virginia reports on identity and justice for 90.5 WESA. That means looking at how people see themselves in the community, and how the community makes them feel. Her reporting examines things like race, policing, and housing to tell the stories of folks we often don't hear from.
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