Then, it was discovered that the DSO never asked their members for input when considering their options, and that the musicians were not notified of the board's decision. The musicians had to find out through news outlets that their much anticipated tour has been postponed.
I can't speak for either orchestra, but I believe there is something much more devastating going on behind the scenes. I believe the "postponement" of the DSO tour is motivated by an ailing budget. As a resident of the Dallas area, I have been dissuaded several times from going to DSO concerts--a few times from a severe lack of interesting or innovative programming, but mostly because of the outrageous ticket prices. While the current season is lightly peppered with newer and less-exposed compositions, the ticket prices have gotten worse. Looking through seating options for upcoming concerts in their classical series, one wonders how they fill the seats at the Meyerson Symphony Center. An upcoming and typical Saturday night concert (January 9) with pieces by Qigang Chin, Mussurgsky-Ravel, and Rachmaninoff; boasts seating options ranging from $222 on the Orchestra Floor level to an incredible $98 for seats in the nosebleed Grand Tier section. $98 for the farthest seat in the house that night! I have never in my life even considered paying that much money for an orchestral ticket. I remember attending many concerts by the Indianapolis Symphony during my time in Indiana because their tickets were quite affordable. (Note: They do offer a $19-seat in the Choral Terrace behind the orchestra, but their finely-tuned sound is thrown so far out of balance from that vantage point that pieces can become almost unrecognizable.)
One can only assume, based on these outrageous ticket prices, that people aren't filling the houses for these concerts and it's being reflected in their annual budgets (please, correct me if I am misinformed). It seems that they are using tickets prices to try and offset deficits that the empty halls are leaving; but, unable to do so, have decided to cancel (excuse me--"postpone") their expensive European tour. These events don't just come out of the blue. If they are having issues filling seats, maybe they should reach out to other orchestras who have had the same issues and resolved them.
While global tensions are currently elevated, I would appreciate it if the DSO's board would be more transparent about the decision and not make broad statements.
The future of the orchestra may be in trouble. If it finds itself in a budget crisis, we may see another lock-out. We might also start to see unrest from within--the musicians are already upset at having heard the news from an outside source. And we can't rule out any resistance and scorn the group may meet if it tries to reschedule the "postponed" tour or tries to schedule other tours in the future. An already-fragile musical culture can't afford to have a bad spotlight placed on it.