Annapolis Symphony and Its Musicians Ratify New Contract Agreement

The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and The Musicians’ Association of Metropolitan Baltimore, Local 40-543, AFM, jointly announced the ratification of a new three-year contract ahead of the June 30 expiration date of the current agreement.

“The negotiations were conducted in a professional spirit of collegiality and partnership,” said Patrick Nugent, Executive Director of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. “Both sides articulated clearly what was important to them, and we all listened to each other carefully. It was always clear that we all were working in the best interests of the whole organization as well as its parts. This is what makes this small orchestra great—a persistent sense of collaboration toward artistic excellence uncommon in a community our size.”

Daphne Benichou, Chair of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Players Committee and member of the viola section, spoke about the commitment of all involved. “The orchestra musicians are grateful to the Symphony leadership for this progressive contract that shows a willingness on the part of the board to invest in the future of the ensemble. Not only did the Symphony agree to reasonable wage increases in each year of the contract, they also agreed to additional increases for those musicians in titled positions. This demonstrates that the Annapolis Symphony recognizes the value of all of our musicians and wants to retain the talent the orchestra already has, while also attracting the best players when vacancies occur.”

“I am delighted the negotiations went swiftly and smoothly,” said Music Director José-Luis Novo. “With the new contract which improves the working conditions of our Annapolis Symphony Orchestra musicians and which was reached in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual support. No music director of any orchestra could ask for a better scenario.”

The new collective bargaining agreement covers three years. Musicians and leadership came to agreement on annual wage increases, some parameters of working conditions, and a process for employing musicians as faculty in the Annapolis Symphony Academy, which has just concluded its first year. Together, the sides agreed upon a groundbreaking harassment policy that covers not only the musicians but all Symphony employees and volunteers.

“The musicians of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra are looking forward to returning to the stage of Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts this fall and playing our best for the Annapolis community,” said Benichou.