Immediate reactions tonight to the end of the Atlanta Symphony lockout are relief and amazement.
Relief that ten weeks of misery are over and play can resume on Monday.
Amazement that the Woodruff Arts Center, which tried to slash the orchestra to 76 players, made a major concession on Friday to 88, allowing the players to vote tonight on a financially-tight four-year deal but one that gives them a guarantee of peace with considerable honour.
Why the WAC yielded on player numbers we don’t yet know. They owned the local media and were under no political pressure – as Minnesota were – to cut a quick deal. Their manipulation of print media, however, was countered by the players’ successful social media campaign, a sustained burst of pressure that forced the board to get rip of an inept manager – Stanley Romanstein – and risk their own reputations in the fray.
Attacks by board members on the musicians and their conductors backfired like a faulty July 4 firecracker. The board started feeling the heat.
Who lost? The hardliners, that’s for sure. Who wins, remains to be seen… and head.