New Symphony Season Begins With Belt-Tightening

Conductor Giancarlo Guerrero leads the orchestra in rehearsal.  The maestro agreed to cuts in both benefits and his salary, which last year came to more than $470,000. Credit: Nina Cardona/WPLN

Conductor Giancarlo Guerrero leads the orchestra in rehearsal. The maestro agreed to cuts in both benefits and his salary, which last year came to more than $470,000. Credit: Nina Cardona/WPLN

The Nashville Symphony closes the door on a tumultuous summer tonight with a season opening program of tense, dramatic music.

The bank did not foreclose on the Schermerhorn Symphony Center in June. The orchestra’s survival doesn’t seem to be in question anymore. But the ensemble can’t relax yet: 20 million dollars of debt remains on the books.

The performance schedule has not been trimmed, but just about everything else has. Food service jobs at the hall are gone altogether, administrators took a 15 percent salary cut, and the musician’s union agreed to reduce their pay at the same rate.

However, the players’ new contract only buys a short reprieve. The agreement lasts just one year, and union president Dave Pomeroy has made it clear he considers it a stopgap measure.

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