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More Fort Worth Symphony concerts canceled as strike continues

The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra has canceled more performances as the strike by orchestra musicians continues.

Orchestra musicians, represented by Local 72-147 of the American Federation of Musicians, began its strike Sept. 8, forcing the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Association (FWSOA) to cancel performances from Sept. 9-11. That has now stretched on as the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra (FWSO) management notified the musicians that it is canceling concerts through Sunday Sept. 25.

This cancellation will affect a set of youth performances presented by Performing Arts Fort Worth, owners and operators of Bass Performance Hall, throughout next week, a “Music of David Bowie” Pops performance on Sept. 24, and a performance at Arborlawn United Methodist Church scheduled for Sept. 25.

“It is with deep regret that we had to cancel these additional concerts,” stated FWSOA President and CEO Amy Adkins. “We recognize the inconvenience and disappointment this causes our patrons, and we appreciate their patience during this difficult period.”

According to a statement from the Local 72-147, musicians have reached out to Performing Arts Fort Worth (PAFW), presenter of next week’s youth programs, proposing to work out a contingent agreement similar to that arranged with Texas Ballet Theater.

“We have reached out to the management of PAFW in the hopes that they will work with us to make sure these important educational programs will continue,” said local musicians’ union president Stewart Williams. “It is our hope that we can work together as we did with the Texas Ballet Theater so that the children would still be able to attend these programs.”

The musicians – now performing as Symphony Musicians of Fort Worth – will be performing in this weekend’s production of Texas Ballet Theater’s Carmen and Danse A Grand Vitesse, Sept. 16-18 at Dallas’ Winspear Opera House.

According to the FWSOA, the orchestra is facing an approximately $700,000 deficit for the 2016-2017 season, which has a $12 million budget. The FWSOA cites factors like low corporate, philanthropic and local government giving as reasons for the orchestra’s financial challenges.

The FWSOA is asking ticket holders to not discard their tickets for this weekend’s performances and instead wait for the orchestra to reach out with options for what to do with unused tickets. – This report contains material from the FWBP archives.

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