Is No News Good News In Atlanta?

The clock is ticking as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) approaches what the musicians have claimed is the deadline delivered to them by management to reach an agreement or be locked out. ASO management has denied those claims and at the time this article was published, there have been no new reports or press statements from either side on the matter.

nopeThe most recent bit of information came on 8/17/2012 when the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association (ASOPA) released a statement claiming that management’s representative, Don Fox, sent the following written notice to the musicians:

“I remind you that unless an agreement is reached by midnight, August 25th, we have no authority to continue income for Musicians, either pay or benefits, beyond that date. All of us sincerely want to conclude negotiations with a mutually acceptable contract that we reach by good faith bargaining.”

When asked to confirm the authenticity and/or accuracy of this message, the ASO declined to respond. However, ASO president Stanley Romanstein has denied that the organization has made any lockout threats.

Currently, some ASO musicians have indicated via social media outlets they are clearing out their lockers in anticipation of being locked out.

Nonetheless, the organization has a little more than two days to reach an agreement or come to terms on extending negotiations via something like a play and talk scenario, although the ASO has not included that option in a list of potential outcomes by midnight, August 25th.

In non-Atlanta related news, but just as heart wrenching, the Boston Globe reports on a harrowing experience by cellist Paul Katz where he was denied to carry his 1669 Andrea Guarneri cello on a WestJet flight from Calgary to Los Angeles. Sadly, these stories aren’t unique but Katz’s story is definitely worth the time.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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0 thoughts on “Is No News Good News In Atlanta?”

  1. Yesterday morning, I got an email from the ASO telling me single tickets were now on sale; however, as an occasional season-ticket holder, there’s no way I’m buying tickets (or donating) until I know a deal has been reached. (Preferably the musician’s proposal.)

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