The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra players' lockout is over. Everything picks up this week right where it left off. The grousing we've seen and heard from all sides via all media over the last five weeks can at last stop. The Indiana Symphony Society and the Indianapolis Musicians, Local #3 of the American Federation of Musicians reached an agreement late Monday evening. They ratified two contracts, a "bridge" agreement, effective Oct. 16, 2012 - Feb. 3, 2013, and the major financial terms of a five-year contract beginning Feb. 4, 2013 and expiring on Sept. 3, 2017.
"This agreement wouldn't have been possible without significant sacrifices by our musicians, and we sincerely appreciate their willingness to find a common ground at this crucial point in the ISO's history," said John Thornburgh, ISO board chairman. "We have seen the numbers of people willing to sign petitions, send in letters of support and demonstrate their admiration for our music and educational programs. We now need to convert that support into tangible financial commitments from our community."
"The last month has been a challenging and trying time for our musicians, and the support we have received has been both uplifting and sustaining," said Rick Graef, chairman of the ISO musicians' negotiating committee. "The musicians are doing our part to save this great orchestra we all love. For now, we return to the Hilbert Circle Theatre stage to perform the beautiful symphonic music that inspires us all."
To enhance the five-year contract's successful outcome, the "bridge" contract puts the musicians back to work immediately. The terms of the five-year contract include a salary range of $53,000 in year one to $70,000 in year five and the continuation of health care and most pension benefits. While the musicians have agreed to work eight weeks less than in previous seasons in the first two seasons of the new contract, over the five-year period there will be a 38 to 42 week performance schedule. This maintains the ISO's classical, pops, family, holiday and summer concert series under the ISO's artistic leadership of Krzysztof Urbański and pops director Jack Everly, as well as new programming created by the ISO's artists-in-residence, Time for Three.
The four performer Hesperus group returned to close out this year's Indianapolis Early Music Festival accompanying the first "Zorro" film ever made.