National Symphony cancels concerts

September 15, 1993|By Stephen Wigler | Stephen Wigler,Music Critic

The National Symphony Orchestra has canceled its performances at the Kennedy Center this week because its musicians have declined to cross the picket line of the striking Opera House Orchestra.

The Opera House musicians struck Sept. 1 over issues of employment and wage guarantees. Previous contracts have ensured the musicians' salaries for specified numbers of weeks even when their services were not needed. The Kennedy Center, which is trying to reduce huge operating deficits, proposed to eliminate such guarantees and the musicians want to keep them. Although talks are scheduled for next week, prospects for an early end to the strike seem dim.

The NSO musicians, who are not on strike, are not scheduled to give another concert at the center until they return from a tour of Russia and the republics of the former Soviet Union which takes place Sept. 21-Oct. 6.

But the strike may threaten other events at the center, such as the scheduled Sept. 29 visit by the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Ticket holders for this week's NSO concerts can get refunds by mailing their tickets to: NSO Cancellation, Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C. 20566.

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