. Interchanging Idioms: Detroit Symphony President Renews Contract For 3 More Years

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Detroit Symphony President Renews Contract For 3 More Years

The news that Detroit Symphony Orchestra President Anne Parsons has renewed her contract for the next three years has evoked mixed reactions. While she apparently has the confidence of the board and of key funders, the musicians, on the heels of a six-month strike, are not all pleased.

Many blame her for the orchestra's poor financial state and see her as the cause of having their pay reduced by 23 percent and their contract shorted from 52 weeks to 40. Orchestra committee chair bassist Linton Bodwin tells the Detroit Free Press that the news is "disappointing and puzzling.

"What has happened over the last five years, including the strike, would indicate the need to have a change at the top of the orchestra for no other reason than a clean start."

Parsons, 53, started at the DSO in 2004. The orchestra is carrying a $54-million debt on its refurbished home and has lost six members since the strike, including the concertmaster.

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