Dissertations, Theses, and Capstone Projects

Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name





David Olan

Subject Categories

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | History | Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods | Music


Avery Fisher, Contract negotiations, Labor dispute, Musicians' unions, New York Philharmonic, Orchestra management


The New York Philharmonic Strike of 1973 is a story waiting to be told. The sole volume to mention it, John Canarina's The New York Philharmonic, devotes less than two pages to it. Until now, the full story has lain buried in archival documents, newspaper articles, and the memories of those who experienced it firsthand. This document represents the first comprehensive examination of this event. The research upon which it is based consists of: interviews with the New York Philharmonic members; research in the New York Philharmonic Archives; newspaper articles and reviews. The results are presented here in three interrelated narratives: a) the historical background to the tenor of labor relations between orchestral musicians and their respective managements in the United States going back more than a century, with a detailed focus upon past labor relations of the New York Philharmonic; b) a comprehensive narrative of the 1973 strike; and c) a study of the consequences of the strike for the Philharmonic with an overview of current and potentially future problems in labor relations for both the Philharmonic and rest of American symphony orchestras.