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initially revealed: 11/11/2022

(NEWARK, NJ) — The New Jersey Symphony Board of Trustees and Northern New Jersey Musicians Guild, Native 16-248 of the American Federation of Musicians, have ratified a five-year contract settlement. The settlement comes at the beginning of the Symphony’s Centennial Season and on the heels of two Mid-Atlantic Emmy Awards for New Jersey Symphony live performance movies produced through the pandemic. The settlement between the New Jersey Symphony and the musicians union is retroactive to September 1, 2022, and runs by way of August 31, 2027.

New Jersey Symphony President & CEO Gabriel van Aalst says: “This new five-year contract is a terrific reflection of the cooperation and stability that the New Jersey Symphony might be pleased with as we rejoice our centennial season, and usher the Symphony into its second century. I’d wish to thank the Orchestra Committee, the Union and the musicians of the New Jersey Symphony for his or her collaborative method to this course of and their continued and steadfast dedication to the way forward for the Symphony. This new contract, together with the five-year contract not too long ago signed with our music director Xian Zhang, reinforces the Symphony’s sturdy creative and organizational basis, from which we will proceed to serve the varied communities of New Jersey.”

The Musicians’ Orchestra Committee Chair Martin Andersen says: “From the start of negotiations in Could, the musicians sought a long-term settlement to offer stability because the group emerges from the pandemic, celebrates its Centennial, and appears ahead to a robust future. We’re wanting to proceed our mission of creative excellence underneath the management of our Music Director, Xian Zhang, with ever better service to our communities. The Orchestra Committee should additionally gratefully acknowledge American Federation of Musicians Native 16-248 President Anthony Scally and AFM Negotiator Todd Jelen for his or her steerage and experience on the bargaining desk.”

The President of Native 16-248 of the American Federation of Musicians Anthony Scally says: “Native 16-248 of the American Federation of Musicians was blissful to have the ability to assist the Musicians and the Symphony come to an settlement which can foster development and creativity by way of the subsequent 5 years.  We applaud the Symphony as they rejoice their a hundredth anniversary season!”

Beneath the five-year contract, musician base pay will enhance 2 p.c through the first 12 months of the settlement, adopted by a 3 p.c base wage enhance within the second, third and fourth years, and a 3.05 p.c base wage enhance fifth 12 months. The Symphony’s season stays at 28 weeks through the present 2022–23 season and expands to its pre-pandemic schedule of 29 weeks starting in 2023–24.


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To additional the efforts to advertise range, fairness, and inclusion on the Symphony’s levels, the settlement is accompanied by a Letter of Intention to be signed by the Union and the Symphony to deal with the method and insurance policies surrounding audition procedures, with the purpose of drafting new audition language by June 15, 2023, to assist a extra racially numerous and equitable hiring course of.

Underscoring a mutual dedication to offering performances of the very best creative high quality and connecting musicians with communities, the contract additionally will increase scheduling flexibility and defines rehearsal time for schooling and neighborhood engagement providers, together with performances by way of the New Jersey Symphony Group Companions program.

The Emmy and Grammy Award-winning New Jersey Symphony, celebrating its Centennial Season in 2022–23, is redefining what it means to be a nationally main, related orchestra within the twenty first century. We’re renewing our deeply rooted dedication to range, fairness and inclusion by championing new, and infrequently native, artists; participating audiences for whom the inspiring depth and breadth of classical music might be new; and incorporating the broadest doable illustration in all features of our group—all to raised mirror and serve our vibrant communities. Since 2021, Music Director Xian Zhang has labored along with composer, violinist, educator and social-justice advocate Daniel Bernard Roumain, the orchestra’s resident creative catalyst, to supply programming that connects with numerous communities in Newark and all through New Jersey.

Internationally famend Chinese language-American conductor Xian Zhang started her tenure because the New Jersey Symphony’s present Music Director in 2016. Since her arrival on the New Jersey Symphony, Zhang has revitalized programming with an industry-leading dedication to range, fairness and inclusion in mainstage concert events. The centennial season opened in October with concert events that includes Rachmaninoff’s Third Piano Concerto with soloist Yefim Bronfman; Jessie Montgomery’s Banner; Nimbus Dance performing authentic choreography to Copland’s Appalachian Spring Suite; Strauss’ Burleske for Piano and Orchestra with soloist Michelle Cann; Brahms’ Fourth Symphony; and Dorothy Chang’s Northern Star. The centennial season will conclude in June 2023 with Zhang main the orchestra and violinist Joshua Bell in Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1, Stravinsky’s Ceremony of Spring and a commissioned world premiere by Daniel Bernard Roumain. 

​​​​​​​Picture by Fred Stucker

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