Pittsburgh Musicians Facing Huge Cuts

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which has been facing choking deficits and cash-flow problems for much of the last two years, has opened negotiations for a new contract with its players by proposing that the musicians’ pay be slashed by $10,000 and that benefits be severely cut back. The PSO has cut costs already this year by reducing its cello section to ten players (twelve is standard,) and some musicians are already taking other auditions in anticipation of what many consider an inevitable downgrade in artistic quality. But the orchestra’s cash crunch is real: last year, then-executive director Gideon Toeplitz raised eyebrows across the industry when he threatened that the PSO would file for bankruptcy if community support did not increase.