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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra cancels preview concert

The Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in 2016. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

The Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, home of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in 2016. (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

There will be no music from the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall this weekend.

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced that a free preview concert rescheduled for Saturday is canceled.

A statement from orchestra management characterized discussions between the two sides as continuing to make progress but not enough to get musicians on stage in time for Saturday’s concert. The concert was rescheduled from last week.

“The BSO is making every effort to bring our concerts back to the stage as quickly as possible. As negotiations continue, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is hopeful that an agreement will be reached soon,” the statement said.

Last week musicians rejected two proposals offered by management that would have returned musicians to the stage under the previous contract salary and benefits for the rest of 2019.

A second proposal established a 40-week season, down from 52. The difference in salary for the year would be made up by donations of about $1 million.

The dispute has been ongoing since June when management locked musicians out.

Management last month lifted the lockout but not before the musicians filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board claiming management failed to bargain in good faith.

A second meeting of a legislative work group meant to help resolve the ongoing financial issues plaguing the 103-year old cultural institution was scheduled for Friday at the offices of the Greater Baltimore Committee. That meeting was canceled in advance of the BSO announcement regarding the free concert.

Both sides participated in an awkward meeting last month as part of that legislative work group. The panel, led by former Sen. Ed Kasemeyer, is part of 2019 legislation that was also meant to provide $1.6 million in emergency funding to the cash-strapped orchestra.

Gov. Larry Hogan earlier this year said he was withholding that funding along with hundreds of millions in other funds fenced off by the General Assembly. At the time, the governor called on the orchestra to get its financial house in order.

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