The management of the Detroit Symphony has presented a revised contract proposal in an effort to end the 4-month strike. It’s probably fair to say this is a “final” offer, given the Feb 11 deadline to respond. And if no agreement is reached based on the new proposal? I’m probably not the only one who found that ad during the Super Bowl a little ironic.
You know, this one, which is ostensibly a Chrysler commercial but is really a cheerleading spot for the city that produced both Eminem and the Detroit Symphony. And which of those two symbolizes Detroit’s actual priorities these days? I like the commercial’s reference to “the finer things in life”. Which things, exactly?
If the new proposal does not result in some sort of deal, most likely the rest of the season will be canceled, which would change the whole game. In that case, it would be extremely unlikely that the organization could survive in its current form, and Detroit will have lost yet another shining symbol of its history and civic pride. One musician recently told me they believe that at this point the orchestra simply will not be recognizable anymore as the Detroit Symphony, no matter what happens with the new contract.
Hopefully that’s not the case. I’ll be watching with guarded optimism; at least there’s some kind of dialogue happening. But a failure of this magnitude will have implications for the entire business. As some have suggested, perhaps that’s what the DSO Board and the League have in mind, but that’s for another column.