While youth programs continue, Atlanta Symphony season opener in jeopardy

Posted on: September 12, 2012

Tuesday (9/11) on the NPR blog Deceptive Cadence, Kathy Lohr writes, “The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its musicians are at an impasse. The players’ contract expired at the end of last month. The symphony is facing a $20 million budget deficit, and it’s seeking millions in concessions from the musicians. Both sides say they want to reach an agreement, but they’ve left the bargaining table, putting the orchestra’s 68th season in jeopardy. The musicians are locked out of their home at the Woodruff Arts Center. They’re not being paid, and their health benefits have been cut off. No rehearsals are scheduled, but the symphony’s youth programs are still taking place. Flutist Rachel Anders, who is 14, is still practicing for her Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra audition with mentor Christina Smith, the principal flute for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. … The Atlanta Symphony’s management says it needs to make $5.2 million in cuts to the musicians’ salaries over the next two years in order to balance the budget. The players say they’ve agreed to $4 million in cuts, but Smith says they can’t go beyond that. … Jesse Rosen with the League of American Orchestras says ticket sales alone can’t sustain orchestras, and that some groups are experimenting with new ways to raise money and reach audiences. ‘It’s a challenge for boards and managements and musicians together to adapt to what is a changed business and cultural environment,’ Rosen says.”

Posted September 12, 2012