Bellevue Philharmonic settles two lingering issues | Orchestra agrees to musicians' contract and picks interim music director

Michael Miropolsky, named interim music director for the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra. - Submitted photo
Michael Miropolsky, named interim music director for the Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra.
— image credit: Submitted photo

The Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra (BPO) resolved two long-standing issues this week, agreeing to a contract with its musicians and choosing an interim music director.

The musicians will play at a reduced rate for the 2009-10 season, with a typical performer receiving $22 per service, according to BPO board President Janis Wold. That's down from an average of around $82 per service previously.

Principal players have also agreed to perform without premium rates, Wold said

Those terms are part of a three-year contract with the Musicians' Association of Seattle. The rates can be renegotiated in a year.

"This is a big sacrifice for the musicians, and we're extremely grateful," Wold said. "They're working very hard to help us and to continue playing."

Michael Miropolski will become the BPO's interim music director for one season, replacing 11-year director Fusao Kajima. The Russian native previously served as principal violinist with the Moscow State Symphony and assistant principal second violinist with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

"Meastro Miropolsky brings a wealth of experience and a depth of understanding of classical music that will propel the Bellevue Philharmonic to new artistic heights," said BPO interim Executive Director Michael Mayer.

The BPO plans to hold five concerts this year, including three master works shows, a pops performance, and "Messiah."

The orchestra canceled several concerts last season after the economy collapsed and donations dwindled.

"We want to avoid at all costs the situation we ended up with this year," Wold said.

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