Atlanta Symphony musicians take compensation reductions

Posted on: April 7, 2009

In Tuesday’s (4/7) Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pierre Ruhe reports, “Facing a $3 million debt and an endowment down a quarter, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra announced Monday a second round of salary cuts. Its 95 unionized musicians will see their paychecks drop by 5 percent through 2010, with a 3.8 percent cut in 2011. The ASO’s four-year savings plan is expected to save $4.2 million. The cuts now extend to all members of the ASO family, from president Allison Vulgamore and music director Robert Spano to the administration and the musicians.” Last month, the orchestra announced that Vulgamore and Spano would both take seven percent salary cuts while other staff would take cuts of between five and six percent. “After June 1, the administration will take unpaid leave, ranging from 13 to 18 days. To change the musicians’ terms, ASO leaders had to crack open the union’s collective bargaining agreement, which was locked through 2011. In the new plan, a year was added to the contract. Before the current cuts, the musicians’ base pay was $82,420, with section principals making substantially more.”

Posted April 7, 2009

Photo: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Rober Spano (left), President Allison Vulgamore, and Principal Guest Conductor Donald Runnicles.
Credit: J.D. Scott