The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and its musicians announced that they have reached a five-year contract after a period of stormy relations between the management and the musicians.

The agreement, which takes effect Sept. 7, foresees a pay cut during the 2020-21 season in acknowledgment of « the significant financial pressures associated with Covid-19, » the announcement said. In the first year of the agreement, base pay scale with be reduced by 26%, accompanied by a 75% reduction in overscale and seniority.

For the remaining years of the contract, however, the organization will increase the musicians pay. During the 2021-22 season, BSO instrumentalists will receive a 1% increase to their pre-Covid base pay scale, followed by a 1% increase in 2022-23, a 1.75% raise in 2023-24 and a 2.5% boost in 2024-25.

By the end of the contract, the minimum yearly wage for a BSO musician will have reached $90,100.

The agreement also commits to filling vacancies and gradually increasing the number of players, ultimately growing the symphony from 75 to 85 full-time musicians, including librarians.

The BSO has cancelled all its scheduled in-person performances and events through Nov. 29 and has focused instead on digital content, including live-streamed concerts, virtual discussions, podcasts and rebroadcasts of past performances.

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