Live Union Music Returns to Nutcracker Ballet

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Live Union Music Returns to Nutcracker Ballet(Metropolitan Washington Council, AFL-CIO)Bringing back live orchestral accompaniment to The Washington Ballet's popular performances of "The Nutcracker" ballet, the Washington Ballet Orchestra has returned to its seasonal home at the Warner Theater. The Orchestra, whose players are members of AFM 161-710, was a fixture at the annual "Nutcracker" performances for over 30 years until management decided to replace the live musicians with recorded music in 2009. Loyal orchestra musicians mobilized and – with the support of colleagues from the National Symphony Orchestra, the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, AGMA, the Metro Washington Council and many others – mounted a public awareness campaign aimed at restoring the venerable tradition of live musical accompaniment. On October 6 representatives of the Orchestra and The Washington Ballet agreed to terms of a new 3-year contract. Despite significant concession on wages, the orchestra successfully won its place back in the pit for the “Nutcracker” performances thanks, in great part, to a generous contribution to the ballet company from Adrienne Arsht specifically for the Orchestra. “The Washington Ballet Orchestra and AFM Local 161-710 appreciate Ms. Arsht’s generosity and support,” says Local 161-710 President Ed Malaga, “as well as all of those who supported our efforts to make this return possible. Everyone is encouraged to come out to the Nutcracker this year to celebrate the orchestra’s success and let the ballet know what a difference a truly live performance makes." - photo of Washington Ballet Orchestra courtesy of AFM Local 161-710


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