September 17, 2014
I am pleased to report that the musicians of the NY Philharmonic have voted to send $10,000 to our beleaguered colleagues in Atlanta. We will continue to watch the situation closely, and send additional money as necessary. We will also be sending a strongly worded letter to the management and board of the ASO, voicing our outrage at the situation.
We wish all of our colleagues in Atlanta great strength.
We support the Atlanta Symphony Musicians
The Musicians of the Nashville Symphony would like to offer their support and encouragement to the Atlanta Symphony Musicians as they have recently been locked out by management for the second time in two years. The behavior of the Woodruff Arts Center and ASO Managements is deplorable, and we call on these parties to return to the negotiating table in good faith. The musicians have offered to continue to play under their previous concessionary terms of employment while negotiations continue, as we are currently doing now in Nashville while we’re negotiating our contract renewal. We encourage everyone to visit the musicians’ website, atlsymphonymusicians.com, and social media outlets to learn the facts and offer what support you can. This great symphony is once again under the threat of such cuts that would destroy the orchestra’s artistic integrity and deliver a severe blow to the rich cultural history that Atlanta has enjoyed for many years. We stand with our neighboring colleagues in their pursuit to uphold the highest artistic standards, serve the community, and protect their livelihood, so that the Atlanta Symphony can remain a musical beacon for generations to come.
The Musicians of the Nashville Symphony
Dear Atlanta Symphony Musicians, The Musicians of the Utah Symphony stand in unwavering solidarity with our friends and colleagues in the Atlanta Symphony as they fight courageously to preserve the legacy of their great orchestra. We are sending an initial donation of $5,000 to support their efforts and encourage all lovers of great music and art to visit the Atlanta Symphony Musicians' website at http://www.atlsymphonymusicians.com/ to join us in supporting this vital cause. As Atlanta Symphony Maestros Robert Spano and Donald Runnicles so eloquently stated in a letter to the ASO board, "Sustainability must also be applied to a quality of the orchestra and the notion of excellence, not only to finances. There are artistic lines that cannot and must not be crossed." WAC's stated desire for maintaining artistic excellence while at the same time reducing the orchestra's size and compensation are utterly incompatible. There are fundamental artistic requirements necessitating a major orchestra to have a full compliment of players. One cannot present an exceptional concert with a third of the players missing or replaced, any more than one can feature Lang Lang on a baby grand with a third of the keys sticking. We urge WAC, The ASO Management, and the ASO board to join their musicians in seeking a reasonable contract that preserves and continues the exceptional musical legacy of the Atlanta Symphony. We remind those parties that the Atlanta Symphony Musicians are willing to go back to work immediately under the terms of their concessionary contract of two years ago while negotiations continue, preventing further damage to the reputation of this great orchestra. Once again, in the words of Runnicles and Spano: "Two years ago, our musicians accepted huge concessions with an expectation that, in so doing, both board and management would be able to steer the organization out of financial distress. We ask the board and management to acknowledge the sacrifice the musicians have already made, and to examine other ways and areas to establish sustainability." In Solidarity, The Musicians of the Utah Symphony
September 14, 2014
To the Musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,
The Buffalo Philharmonic Musicians are appalled by the manner in which the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Woodruff Arts Center have chosen to conduct themselves in your most recent contract negotiation, ultimately resorting to the barbaric tactic of a lock-out. The demands being sought by the ASO and WAC upon the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Musicians are incomprehensible, and a direct assault on the Art form of which the ASO and WAC are supposedly stewards.
The Atlanta Symphony has been a leading American orchestra for decades, and a cultural treasure of the City of Atlanta, State of Georgia, the Southeastern United States, and the country as a whole. The leadership steering this organization towards destruction has lost touch with the ideals of which they have been entrusted, and has forsaken the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra family and the community of Atlanta as a whole.
We, the Buffalo Philharmonic Musicians, stand by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Musicians in this time of strife, support your cause, and encourage you to stay strong throughout this ordeal. Your artistic excellence and commitment to your Art and community encourage us all.
Seattle Musicians' Statement on Atlanta Symphony Lockout | September 12, 2014 http://m.ssopo.org/news/index.html
The musicians of the Seattle Symphony are saddened and dismayed by the Atlanta Symphony's profoundly destructive decision to lock out its musicians. Rather than negotiate in good faith, the ASO board and management are again seeking to place the burden of sacrifice on the Atlanta musicians. Just two years ago, the musicians agreed to make sacrifices with the promise that management would find a path to fiscal stability and lasting artistic greatness. ASO management is now breaking that promise.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, with its long and esteemed history as one of the nation's premiere orchestras, has for decades been the crown jewel of Atlanta's arts scene. ASO musicians correctly recognize that the way to maintain this tradition of excellence is through inspired, energetic, and imaginative leadership, with an eye toward cultivating its most valuable assets: the artists themselves. The current ASO leadership seems to offer precisely the opposite. The musicians of the Seattle Symphony stand steadfastly in support of our Atlanta colleagues during this difficult time, and will assist them in any way we can as they attempt to preserve the excellence of their institution and ensure a future of artistic greatness.
ISO Musicians issue statement of support for musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
(Indianapolis, Ind.) The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Players Association (ISOPA) issued a statement of support today for the musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), who were locked out by management on Sept. 7.
“The Musicians of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra would like to express our full support for our colleagues, the Musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
On September 7, the ASO management locked out the musicians for the second time in as many years upon the expiration of their most recent, deeply concessionary contract. It is unfortunate that the management of the ASO does not recognize the potential artistic pitfalls their current proposals would create, as explained on the musician’s website.
The epidemic of planned lockouts of the artists who make up our great orchestras is deplorable. It greatly concerns us that orchestra managers and boards across our country are flocking to a trend that balances their budgets on the backs of musicians. These actions threaten the very existence of the orchestras we all have worked so hard to build. In order to preserve the future artistic quality and cultural viability of our nation’s orchestras, these measures must end.
These lockouts will only serve to solidify and strengthen the community of classical musicians of this country. We have seen it here in Indianapolis, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and the Met – just to name a few. The proud and artistically gifted symphony orchestras of this country have taken decades to grow into the cultural treasures they have become. They must be protected and treated as such now more than ever.
For more information, please visit www.atlsymphonymusicians.com and support our colleagues.”