Texas’ San Antonio Symphony Shuts Down

(Photograph Courtesy: Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony)


Final yr, the San Antonio Symphony‘s (SAS) administration proposed a discount of the orchestra’s measurement from 72 full-time musicians to 42, inflicting 30 musicians to lose their salaries and well being advantages.

The musicians rejected this supply and have been on strike since September 2021. Gamers protested the proposed adjustments by staging a sit-in at San Antonio’s Metropolis Council Chambers on February 17, 2022. Some held placards that learn “We demand higher administration!” and “We’re preventing for a residing wage!”

Moreover, in April, Music Director Emeritus Sebastian Lang-Lessing was dismissed from the group, after agreeing to conduct the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony (MOSAS) in a live performance on the metropolis’s First Baptist Church on Might 12. MOSAS is made up of gamers from the San Antonio Symphony, however just isn’t related to the group itself, and has continued to create taking part in alternatives for the musicians whereas on strike.

Administration mentioned Lang-Lessing was dismissed since he was discovered to be in breach of his contract, which prevented him from being affiliated with a competing music entity inside a sure distance of town.

In what appears to be the ultimate growth of the long-fought battle, on June 16, 2022, the Board of Administrators of the San Antonio Symphony launched a press release asserting the dissolution of the orchestra. It reads, partly:

“With deep remorse, the Board of Administrators of the Symphony Society of San Antonio pronounces the dissolution of the San Antonio Symphony. By unanimous vote, the Board has initiated the requisite steps to file for Chapter 7 chapter. The belongings of the Symphony now lie within the arms of a Trustee who will liquidate them, pay what collectors stay, and shut the doorways.

Labor negotiations for what would have been the 2021-22 season started in January of 2021. The final bargaining session between the Symphony Society and the Musicians’ Union passed off on March 8, 2022 after which the Union declined to return to the bargaining desk, regardless of efforts of federal mediators and the Symphony. The Musicians’ Union has made it clear there is no such thing as a prospect of the resumption of negotiations, absent the Board agreeing to a finances that’s tens of millions of {dollars} in extra of what the Symphony can afford. The absence of a labor contract has successfully pressured the Symphony to shutter its operations.

We need to thank the tons of of gifted musicians and administrative workers who’ve served our group since its founding. With out your tireless dedication, we’d not have had a corporation to ship nice symphonic music for these previous eighty years.

Over our lengthy historical past, many people and organizations have supported the Symphony. Of specific significance are our concertgoers and season subscribers. You share our ardour for symphonic music and as such, you’re the coronary heart of our work and the cornerstone of our help. We ship heartfelt because of all the many volunteers, former board members, and donors who’ve served our group and neighborhood. Your highly effective help through the years has meant the world to all of us.

As we shut, we lengthen a remaining vote of because of you, the symphonic music lovers and beneficiant donors and supporters who’ve sustained the Symphony since its founding in 1939.”


The Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony launched a press release on their web site, giving their perspective on the factors made within the Board’s assertion. Mary Ellen Goree, Principal 2nd Violin and Chair of MOSAS wrote, partly: 

The Symphony Society’s declaration of Chapter 7 chapter yesterday, sad information although it was, didn’t come as a lot of a shock to these of us carefully concerned within the occasions of the previous yr. Our board and administration have been making it crystal clear for a very long time that their long-term objective was the discount of the San Antonio Symphony from the full-sized, full-time, totally skilled orchestra that San Antonio has loved for 83 years to a part-time, downsized orchestra of the kind present in a lot smaller cities. When the musicians refused to take part in our personal destruction, our board and administration elected to burn the home down fairly than transfer from their irrational place.

Now it’s time for the musicians to maneuver ahead with plans to prepare the full-sized, totally skilled orchestra that any metropolis with a declare to “main league” standing must-have. We offered three pairs of artistically and financially profitable concert events, one every in April, Might, and June, within the stunning sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of San Antonio. We’re planning for a fall season as properly; please observe www.MOSASperformancefund.org for info because it turns into accessible, and/or to make a donation to help the music. The MOSAS Efficiency Fund is a 501©3 group and all donations are tax-deductible.

Audiences can donate to the MOSAS Efficiency fund right here.