Now Atlanta locks out the youth orchestra

Now Atlanta locks out the youth orchestra


norman lebrecht

September 21, 2014

The suspension of the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra may be an inevitable consequence of the parent organisation’s war on its musicians, but it is hitting students and parents hard.

Paul Murphy, a viola player and spokesman for the musicians, said: ‘We relish and take equally serious our roles as teachers, mentors, and coaches to our young musicians, and we are heartbroken that we are unable to work with them as a direct result of the WAC/ASO’s refusal to extend negotiations and subsequently locking us out.’

This is 16 year-old Rachel, who was desperate to learn and play Shostakovich 4th symphony. More here.

atlanta youth


  • Brian says:

    This action is unconscionable, especially when one considers that the emails sent to young musicians flat out blamed a union “mandate” for the cancelation of the auditions.

    It’s also interesting to note that Romanstein, in a 2010 interview following his appointment, stated, “Eight million is not an insurmountable deficit….It will take three years to get “our house in order.” Well, four years and (now) two lockouts (and the massive concessions made in 2012) later, the orchestra is still running deficits.

    Romanstein, whose previous experience was running a humanities non-profit with a $4.2 million budget, is out of his element. How he got the Atlanta job is anyone’s guess. How he should lose it is everyone’s.

    • Amy says:

      And Virginia Hepner has a lot of explaining to do: why does it appear that monies have been carefully steered away from the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, especially with deficits that could have been easily wiped out?
      I wonder if Romanstein was picked to act the puppet, for others pulling the strings of their anti-union agenda. (Shades of Minnesota…)

  • newyorker says:

    The ASYO is playing Shostakovich 4? That’s amazing!

    This is a real PR mess for the ASO Management. What’s wrong with them?

    • Nick says:

      Locking out musicians no doubt results in some sympathy within a community. Angering parents and their music-loving kids, though, is quite another and, I suspect, will have a much greater overall effect. The actions of the Boards of the WAC and the ASO and their managements are disgraceful and disgusting.