Most of the scheduled performances at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' acclaimed Mostly Mozart summer festival have been canceled in response to the orchestra's decision to go on str

Most of the scheduled performances at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts' acclaimed Mostly Mozart summer festival have been canceled in response to the orchestra's decision to go on strike. The festival, in its 36th season, was to have started today (July 30). But hours after the 42-member Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra voted to refuse to rehearse or perform for the festival, the center announced yesterday that it would be forced to cancel 20 of the four-week festival's concerts.

Among the cancellations was a free performance scheduled for last night outside Lincoln Center that was expected to draw 3,000 people. Two "Green Eggs and Hamadeus" performances and a concert featuring The Chamber Music Society were also canceled because the musicians sympathized with the striking orchestra, Lincoln Center spokeswoman Eileen McMahon said.

Ten other festival performances not featuring the orchestra remain scheduled, McMahon said. She said more than 60,000 people attend the festival every year.

The reason for the strike is a disagreement over a contract provision governing the non-renewal of tenured musicians for artistic reasons, according to both sides.

"The single issue here is job security," said Bill Moriarity, president of Local 802, which represents 10,000 musicians in New York City. "These musicians have been together for over 20 years, and they must be protected." He said dismissals and non-reengagements of musicians should be decided by a peer review committee, not by the music director.

Moriarty noted that a new Lincoln Center music director would soon be named. The previous music director, Maestro Gerard Schwarz, retired from the orchestra last summer after 17 years.


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