Labor dispute drags on as Hartford orchestra seeks remake

State Capitol building in Hartford. (File)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — For two years, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and musicians union have been seeking a labor agreement as the orchestra tries to remake itself to appeal to changing audiences and tastes.

The orchestra says it’s “severely undercapitalized” and struggling with annual deficits of more than $1.3 million, a fully-drawn $2 million line of credit, falling subscriptions and ticket sales that are flat.

Michael Pollard is a violinist and member of the American Federation of Musicians negotiating committee working on a contract. He says the orchestra is seeking too many financial concessions from musicians.

The orchestra will not comment on negotiations, but says it’s working hard to appeal to broader audiences with new approaches to classical music and performances.

Orchestra president and chief executive officer David Fay says it needs to become more market-driven and more market-oriented.
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