Day the Music Died

San Antonio Symphony hits sour note and abruptly cancels 2017-18 season

San Antonio Symphony hits sour note and abruptly cancels 2018 season

San Antonio Symphony at Tobin Center for the Performing Arts
The San Antonio Symphony has abruptly canceled the remainder of its 2017-18 season. Photo courtesy of Tobin Center for the Performing Arts

It appears that Sunday will go down as the day the music died for this season of the San Antonio Symphony. As reported by Texas Public Radio, contract negotiations between the symphony's management and musicians' union have ended, effectively canceling the remainder of the season.

The final performance will be held this weekend in celebration of the city's tricentennial celebration. 

This is the latest in a series of sour notes for the symphony. This summer, the nonprofit Symphonic Music in San Antonio was formed to help alleviate financial issues plaguing the organization.

Over the past few months, the nonprofit has taken financial control over the symphony from the Symphony Society of San Antonio, which has overseen the organization since 1939.

In late December, the nonprofit SMSA issued a statement alluding to the Symphonic Society underfunding the musicians' pension fund by more than $4 million. The Symphonic Society board chair Alice Viroslav countered, telling the Rivard Report, the Symphonic Society "was and has been current on its payments to the pension on the musicians’ behalf.”

On December 27, the SMSA returned control to the Symphonic Society.

With the musicians' contracts expired as of December 31, the parties returned to the bargaining table on January 3. After a lengthy meeting, talks were abandoned and the decision was made to cancel the remainder of the season 

The musicians took to Twitter to voice their reaction. "This is a shock to all of the musicians of the San Antonio Symphony," they tweeted. The group's final 2018 performance will be Saturday, January 6 at the Tobin Center for the Performing Arts.