Musicians with the San Francisco Symphony should have been performing at Carnegie Hall Thursday. Instead they picketed over stalled contract talks, as management worked to come up with a new proposal that would bring both sides back to the bargaining table.
The brass quartet protested with a public concert outside Davies Symphony Hall. They performed Jean-Joseph Mouret’s "Rondeau", familiar to many as the longtime theme from "Masterpiece Theatre".
Matt Young plays the viola. He said he opposes the latest offer because it freezes wages for a year and increases health care premiums. Young wants his contract on par with symphonies in Los Angeles and Chicago.
"You've got to remember, we’re at the very top of a centuries-old profession," Young said. "These are the best-of-the-best musicians here."
Symphony spokesman Oliver Theil said management is working on another offer. "I think everyone in this organization is among the best at what they do," he said, "which is why our latest proposals are keeping musicians among the very highest paid among American orchestras."
The musicians entered the second week of their strike Thursday.