Locked out Atlanta musician: Can wife and I afford an anniversary dinner?

Locked out Atlanta musician: Can wife and I afford an anniversary dinner?


norman lebrecht

September 18, 2014

Michael Kurth, a bass player in the locked-out orchestra, describes his day from dreams to dusk. It’s doughnuts and coffee on the picket line, checking out alternative concert venues, worrying about household finance. Read his diary here.


atlanta musicians


  • Amy says:

    My understanding is that the board of the ASO is largely an honorary one, focused on fundraising but not where the power of big decision-making occurs. Although, I wonder: how do they feel about being put in this position? About their players unable to rehearse in their hall, and going without salary and medical coverage…?
    How do they feel about Stanley Romanstein trotting blithely down the path that his acquaintance, Michael Henson, blazed with so little success, and much disgrace? Take a look at who ran that flag up the pole – are they still associated with the Minnesota Orchestra?

    End the Atlanta Symphony lockout, you intransigent philistines of the Woodruff Arts Center. Stop it now. Don’t go down that path.

  • JAMA11 says:

    The player was mercifully brief in discussing his household finances, and it’s rather cloying of you to make that little nugget the star of your post. Norman, may I assure you, no striking employee wins any new friends by worrying about how he’s going to get by when his $75,000+ salary is temporarily gone.

    I’m not saying they don’t have the right to demand more money (or to demand fewer concessions), and I’m not saying they don’t deserve what they make. But they aren’t so tone deaf as to suggest the alternative is starving. I would hope a salary that’s 50% above the median US income would enable someone to have at least a couple months’ worth of emergency funds.

    • Amy says:

      Striking….? STRIKING?!?
      Try locked out. The terms are not interchangeable. They are actually opposites.
      This musician was Locked Out of his place of employment. Again.

    • bratschegirl says:

      Nobody is on strike here! The musicians of the ASO are locked out, as Amy says above. This is much more than a technical distinction. A strike occurs when workers refuse to work; a lockout occurs when management prevents workers from working.

    • William Safford says:

      The players are locked out. They are not on strike. That’s a huge difference.

      FWIW, a large block of that salary may be tied up in paying for his instrument, bow, and other equipment. I am not acquainted with this musician nor his equipment, but it is not implausible that his instrument cost more than his house. Certainly there is a lot of equity tied up in them, and there could be loans to pay off.