After a rather tone-deaf protest at San Francisco City Hall yesterday -- where, while donning L.A. Dodgers hats, a quartet performed in front of a Giants cap on the dirty floor -- musicians at the San Francisco Symphony have officially gone on strike. Perched out in front of Davies Symphony Hall on Wednesday, an estimated 100 musicians "announced a work stoppage as a result of management's stalling negotiations and other financial issues."

“Management continues to stall negotiations and refuses to open its financial books so that we can reach a fair deal that will allow us to remain one of the best orchestras in the world,” said David Gaudry, Chair of the Musicians’ Negotiating Committee. “With one week to reach a deal and no movement on their offer, management’s strategy is clearly to run out the clock. Management is seeking a contract that will not even allow us to keep up with the cost of living, while cutting our retirement. At the same time, Management has rewarded itself significant bonuses, expanded programming and announced it will pursue a more than $500 million renovation of Davies Hall. We had sincerely hoped that there would not be a disruption, but the future of our symphony is at stake.”

To the press release:

After months of contract negotiations and performing without a contract for twenty-four weeks, the Grammy-Award winning San Francisco Symphony Musicians have requested that management open its financial books in an attempt to reach a fair agreement that enables the Symphony to maintain its status as one of the top orchestras in the country. The Musicians seek to reach a deal prior to March 19, the day that the Symphony will embark on a high profile tour of the East Coast, including Carnegie Hall in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

The Musician’s contract expired on Sunday, February 10, the very same day the Symphony won the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performance of 2012. With an endowment that has increased in value by 83% over the last ten years and currently approaching $300 million, the San Francisco Symphony has the second largest endowment of any symphony in the country.

Management has rewarded itself with salary increases substantially greater than provided for Musicians; has developed plans to embark on a major redesign and renovation of the Davies Symphony Hall at a cost of up to a half billion dollars; and has increased the budget $11 million over last year for a Centennial Celebration party - while demanding a wage freeze and calling for increasing the costs to be borne by the Musicians, including pension reductions.

However, as symphony spokesman Oliver Theil explained, "Our musicians are among the highest paid orchestra members in the country ... Their average salary is over $160 thousand dollars a year with over ten weeks paid vacation."

Anyway, this means that the scheduled March 14 performance is hereby cancelled. Patrons with tickets to the March 14 show may exchange them for an upcoming concert or receive a refund. Call the Symphony Box Office at 415-864-6000 and on the Orchestra's website at

We here at SFist thank the musicians for stopping short of burning an effigy of Buster Posey.