CSO a go

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Amid the state's skyrocketing unemployment woes, at least one group of skilled trade people is going back to work.

Representatives from the board of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the union representing symphony musicians agreed Monday night on a three-year contract, according to the Dispatch. The CSO will return on Oct. 24 in support of Opera Columbus' production of The Pearl Fishers.

It's not an unqualified triumph for either side. The stalemate between the board and the orchestra cost the already cash-strapped nonprofit its Picnic with the Pops program, part of a classical season and possibly its music director, Junichi Hirokami. The agreement also requires cuts in non-musician costs of $1.4 million.

As for the musicians, principal tuba player Jim Akins told the Dispatch that concessions made for the new agreement are "painful" and "lifestyle-changing." These include a 24 percent cut in average base salary, a pension reduction, a season shortened from 46 to 38 weeks (musicians are paid only for performance weeks and vacation time) and a new health plan with higher deductibles, although the union prevailed in keeping 53 orchestra members on full-time.

The annual Holiday Pops program and CSO participation in BalletMet's The Nutcracker are confirmed for December, followed by the opening of an abbreviated classical season on Jan. 10 featuring Holst's The Planets Suite, narrated by John Glenn.

An announcement with the rest of the season schedule is expected Oct. 15.

Show's still on at Drexel Grandview

Reports of the Drexel Grandview's demise have proven to be a little premature. Instead of closing this Saturday, Sept. 27, as reported earlier this month, the theater will continue to present films through at least Thursday, Oct. 2.

Drexel Theatres proprietor Jeff Frank chose not to discuss how the extension came about or whether it'll be indefinite, but said he should have details to share about the immediate future of the single-screen movie house next week.