Spano and Runnicles comment publicly about Atlanta Symphony negotiations

Posted on: September 5, 2014

In Thursday’s (9/4) Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Howard Pousner writes, “In the ongoing contract negotiations between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its musicians, heading toward a midnight Saturday deadline … ASO music director [Robert] Spano and principal guest conductor [Donald] Runnicles … took an unusual step: emailing an open letter to ASO board, management and musicians that, importantly, included a note of support for the latter.… The maestros do ask ASO leadership to ‘acknowledge the sacrifice the musicians have already made, and to examine other ways and areas to establish sustainability.’ The letter encourages a quick and peaceful settlement that would avoid repeating the discord from negotiations two years ago and expresses their wish for a long-term agreement that would allow the 70th anniversary season to start on time on Sept. 25…. ASO management was quick to respond Wednesday morning with a statement of its own, saying it ‘agree(s) with the sentiments expressed’ in the maestros’ letter, but with an asterisk. ‘… We agree that a work stoppage is not in the best interests of anyone associated with the ASO. But neither is the continuation of operating deficits that have been ongoing for 12 years nor the consequences they bring. They have led to concerns from our donors and a precipitous decline in our endowment.’ The exchange of statements was the most public development in negotiations that have been conducted close to the vest for months by both sides.”

Posted September 5, 2014