For Immediate Release: Thursday, August 22, 2019



SAN ANTONIO— The San Antonio Symphony and the American Federation of Musicians Local 23 – the labor organization representing the musicians – announced the new three-year collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and setting the stage for the Symphony’s 80th season to open September 20, 2019 with Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony. The agreement includes modest wage increases for SAS musicians, augments the number of work weeks, and forms an exploratory committee on musician retirement programs.

The previous contract will end August 31, 2019, and the new contract will cover the next three seasons from September 1, 2019 until August 31, 2022. Under the current contract, the musicians work 30 weeks with a base salary of $33,600. Under the new contract, the first year will remain the same; the second year will have 30 weeks and base salary of $34,620; the third year will have 31 weeks and a base salary of $35,774.

Each of the parties agreed to form a committee to explore alternatives to the current musician retirement plans to reduce financial risk for the employer and increase benefits for musicians.

“I want to thank the Musicians of the San Antonio Symphony for the partnership and collaborative process through these negotiations,” said San Antonio Symphony Executive Director Corey Cowart. “I believe we achieved a great outcome for everyone involved, with an agreement that takes into account our recent challenges, and also reaffirms our commitment to San Antonio.”

“Our negotiation was based on attaining a common goal: a three-year contract that effectively ensures sustainability for the San Antonio Symphony during a time of growth and evolution in our organization,” stated San Antonio Symphony Board Chair, Kathleen Weir Vale. “The Symphony and the musicians were aligned in what we wanted to achieve with this contract, and as such, we were able to reach a favorable outcome.”

“This contract represents a shared vision with our administrative partners for the growth and long-term artistic success of the San Antonio Symphony” said percussionist David Reinecke, who also serves as Chair of the musicians’ Orchestra Committee. “The musicians are extremely pleased to have reached an agreement that will ultimately allow us to serve the vibrant community of San Antonio to a greater extent by being on stage more. We would like to thank our board and administrative leadership for their dedication to the arts and to the success of this incredible institution.”

The negotiating committee on behalf of the employer were Corey Cowart (Executive Director), Janni Toomes (Orchestra Personnel Manager), and Angelica Rivera Perez (Accountant) as part of the administrative staff and Board members included Kathleen Weir Vale (Board Chair) and Frank Stenger-Castro.

Members of the musicians’ negotiating committee included David Reinecke (Chair/Assistant Principal Percussion), Richard Oppenheim (Local 23 President), Brian Petkovich (Assistant Principal/ Second Bassoon), Mark Teplitsky (Principal Flute), Daniel Wang (Viola), Lauren Eberhart (Second Trumpet), Elizabeth Girko (Violin I), and David Mollenauer (Assistant Principal Cello). Kay Cee Cole-Cortez and David Van Os of David Van Os & Associates acted as counsel to the musicians.

For more information, visit or contact the San Antonio Symphony at

(210) 554-1051.


The San Antonio Symphony, established in 1939, is a nonprofit performing arts organization with the mission to delight, engage, and enrich the entire community through excellent performance, education, and outreach. Under the dynamic leadership of Music Director Sebastian Lang-Lessing and Associate Conductor Noam Aviel, the San Antonio Symphony gives more than 100 performances annually, including classics, pops, educational programs, movie concerts, and performances with our fellow resident opera and ballet companies. With more than 70 professional musicians, the Symphony serves over 130,000 people per year including over 50,000 students. For more information about the San Antonio Symphony, please visit

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