‘I was lured to Atlanta without a contract’

‘I was lured to Atlanta without a contract’


norman lebrecht

October 13, 2014

The ever-interesting website of Musicians of the Metropolitan Opera tells the story of a young American musician, 20 years old, who won the post of principal bassoon at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

Keith Buncke (right in the picture with two ASO colleagues) was so thrilled he forgot to worry when no contract turned up in the months after he won his audition and passed his trial period. Instead, he wrapped up his life and moved from Philadelphia to his Atlanta, ready for the start of his first season.

And was promptly locked out.

Is that why he was never sent the contract? Read on here.

keith buncke



  • Anna says:

    What!? Where in the article does he say “I was lured to Atlanta without a contract”? From what it says in the link you provided, Mr. Buncke has nothing but good cheer and optimism about his involvement with the ASO.

  • Stephen Owades says:

    Indeed, putting a statement that wasn’t made by Mr. Buncke—and doesn’t reflect the sentiments expressed in the article on the Met musicians’ website—in quotes as the title of this piece is journalistic malpractice. Mr. Lebrecht should know better.

  • Paul says:

    in Norman’s defense, the title is not that far off and could be seen as an apt summary of this
    “By the time June rolled around, though, Keith found himself thinking, “Huh. I don’t have a contract yet.” This was his first clue that something was amiss in the ASO’s contract negotiations. Two weeks before the season was to begin, he moved to Atlanta from Philadelphia, where he had been a student at the Curtis Institute of Music. By then, it was very clear that something was seriously wrong with what should have been a dream come true. On September 7, management chose to lock out its musicians after refusing requests for meetings in the final hours before the ASO’s contract expired. Keith describes the experience since as “surreal.”

  • Paul says:

    although maybe Norman should take out the quotations since that makes it look like the author actually wrote those exact words. Did he?