Atlanta Symphony: The bad guys lost

Atlanta Symphony: The bad guys lost


norman lebrecht

November 08, 2014

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.

woodruff arts center



  • Bantryb says:

    Got a couple of unfortunate typos in there, but other than that, you’re right. The good guys won!

  • NYMike says:

    Before the lockout 2 years ago, the ASO’s complement was 95 and pay was for 52 weeks. There’s a LONG way to go to return. Any contract containing the clause “best efforts” is suspect. Meanwhile, the ASO’s musicians have shown their ability to play in the Chicago, NY, St. Louis and other orchestras.

    An outside examination of the WAC’s books is certainly in order. The ASO’s support structure needs change big-time.

    • Amy says:

      ^ I second this, and then some.
      How in-character of the WAC to come to an “agreement” – knowing full well that in 2 years they can very easily crank up some more deficits, brush up against bankruptcy and renegotiate with their musicians.
      Without a house-cleaning, and transparency demanded by ASO’s true donors and supporters, Atlanta is just bidin’ time till the next lockout. Tick-tock….