This just in: The Seattle Symphony, Seattle Opera and Seattle Symphony and Opera Players’ Organization have agreed to a three-year contract extension, through Aug. 31, 2018. The current contract was set to expire Aug. 31, 2015; the agreement comes 14 months ahead of schedule. That undoubtedly will smooth the way for new Seattle Opera general director Aidan Lang, who takes the helm of the opera company this fall, as well as everyone else involved in the symphony.
Terms of the extension, from the SSO: “Annual wage increases of 3.2%, 3.1% and 3.6%, respectively, with minimum salaries reaching $98,100 in the last year of the contract. The extension also includes a 6% raise in the post-retirement defined benefit pension, taking it to $31,680 per year. The contract continues to guarantee 47 weeks — 87% with the Seattle Symphony and the remainder with Seattle Opera.”
The SSO had a busy year, with the release of discs on its own label, Seattle Symphony Media; a trip to Carnegie Hall to play in the Spring for Music Festival; the premiere of John Luther Adams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning “Become Ocean,” (as well as premieres by local composer Angelique Poteat, Luis Tinoco, Gabriel Prokofiev and Alexander Raskatov, among others); continuation of new programs such as Untuxed and [untitled] and a flurry of global attention for hosting Sir Mix-A-Lot at the recent Sonic Evolution concert, a series that salutes musicians with Seattle ties.