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Strike at Carnegie Hall shuts down opening night concert

Carnegie Hall Wednesday canceled its opening-night concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra after Local 1 of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees announced a strike against the prestigious venue.

"The strike is an attempt to force Carnegie Hall to agree to the union's demand for jurisdiction over the whole of Carnegie Hall's newly created Education Wing in ways that would compromise Carnegie Hall's education mission," the nonprofit venue said in a statement on its website.

It said it would issue daily updates as to whether future performances will take place.

The season-opening concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra, scheduled for Wednesday night, was to feature violinist Joshua Bell and vocalist and bassist Esperanza Spalding.

Local 1 president James J. Claffey countered in a statement that Carnegie Hall is spending "$230 million on its ongoing studio tower renovation, but they have chosen not to appropriately employ our members as we are similarly employed throughout the rest of Carnegie Hall."

The union, Claffey said, remains "willing and always available to bargain for a successful resolve."

The Opening Night Gala dinner benefiting Carnegie Hall's artistic and educational programs went on as planned at the Waldorf Astoria hotel.

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