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Musicians Plan To Protest Recorded Music Outside Lincoln Center

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A group of professional musicians plan to assemble outside Lincoln Center on Tuesday night to protest the complex’s usage of canned music during performances.

The Paul Taylor Dance Company is set to begin its string of 21 performances tonight at Lincoln Center, marking the first time in the facility’s illustrious history that a major ballet company will be accompanied by recorded music.

Sara Cutler, a harpist and the negotiating committee chair for the New York City Ballet orchestra, said she has had no luck trying to rectify the situation.

“For us, this is really an unacceptable situation,” Cutler said. “We have tried to open a dialogue with both the Paul Taylor Company and Lincoln Center, and been rebuffed by both. Once of our concerns and one of the reasons we’re staging this leafleting is to really let audiences know that they’re being cheated out of something. They should get everything they paid for. This is Lincoln Center, this is New York, this is the center of the universe.”

In an effort to maintain the long-standing tradition of only live music at Lincoln Center — and to fight a potentially dangerous new precedent — musicians are set to make themselves heard from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. outside the David H. Koch Theater. The protesters will hand out leaflets to audience members attending tonight’s performance.

“Lincoln Center is the cultural center of the world,” Tino Gagliardi, President of the Associated Musicians of Greater New York, said. “And to see that kind of diminishment of the art form at the Koch Theater is truly egregious, from an artistic sense.”

The highlight of the protest is expected to occur at 6:30 p.m. on the steps of Lincoln Center, where a brass quintet will perform two numbers to emphasize the power and essence that they believe only live music can provide.

Do you have a problem with Lincoln Center using recorded music? Sound off below…

  • Chris

    They just want to outsource all the good job’s …There is plenty of media revenue to pay musician’s…….What will suffer is the production itself any educated director or producer know’s this already…..If the performer’s are not happy good luck on making money in a tough business….This is an old story…Now they think they can make the patron’s “settle” for a less quality production value………

  • Angela Moore

    Hiii, Any band or musician can distribute music to over 200 digital music shops like iTunes, Spotify and Amazon using iMusician Digital. You can use this popular URL….

  • tbotz

    how does this impede on the dance troupe performing or making a profit? these people are paying to see DANCE – there is nothing implied that going to see live dance includes live music.

    i dont see the issue here

  • None Of Your Business

    Lincoln Center is not the cultural capital of the world. The musicians, through their union, have priced themselves out of reach by performing arts companies (which nevertheless do seem to have megazillions to pay bloated salaries to a bloated bureaucracy of employees). I don’t have any sympathy for the unions — or for management, for giving in to union demands. Management has so caved in over the years to the musician’s union that, on Broadway, you have theatres that have to employ a minimum number of musicians, even if that number isn’t needed. The unneeded musicians get paid for doing absolutely nothing. Ever wonder why a Broadway theatre ticket costs about a month’s salary these days? Union greed and management with the spine of a jellyfish.

    • tbotz

      exactly right! just got off the phone with a union rep – these people are thugs and masters of intimidation. they have completely priced themselves out, making it impossible for clients to make a profit using them.

  • dp

    Very sad state of affairs at Lincoln Center… wishes to the musicians who have been impacted by this decision.


    Lincoln Center bean counters are celebrating this evening after this big ” Save “

  • PAUL

    It is very disheartening to know this is happening at Lincoln Center in the heart of NYC. Two weeks ago, I attended a performance when one of the most talented accompanists in the area (although non-union—so much for a ‘right to work’ state) accompanied all evening for the money acquired from ‘passing the hat’.
    Shame on the Lincoln Center producers and managers. At 67 years old, I pride myself as being a musicians union member since I was 16.

  • chris

    it’s cheaper to pay royalties on canned music than it is to pay live musicians. The world is losing its culture based on finances

  • James Jerome

    Good heavens! Let the dancers dance!

    • LW

      Until they’re replaced by CG animation. Let live music go away…what’s next?

      • James

        Yes and gay marriage will lead to people marrying animals and the world will come to a screeching halt. Lol!

  • James

    The larger issue is the lack of support for the arts and our cultural institutions. You are all idiots if you think companies would rather have recorded music. But perhaps even with that knowledge your idiot status remains the same.

  • Da Capo

    What Andy Warhol said in words will live longer than his superficial artworks
    “Sooner or later everything will be made of plastic” One day people will prefer
    the fake sounds of digital over the live musicians in most performance.
    I guess there are no fake sounds however ,I am also curious why just a
    handful of musicians are protesting this tonight when it should have been
    a cause celebre from the getgo when Paul Taylor was booked here.

  • Nick

    Why pay all that money to hear a recording? I can watch a recorded show much cheaper in the comfort of my home.

    • tbotz

      because these ticketholders are paying to see DANCE.

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