Hoping to move the city forward, Delta’s Richard Anderson takes new roles at Metro Atlanta Chamber, ASO
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What musicians are wearing to the revolution!
The music is the message ... sing it, play it, and wear it where you will be seen and heard. Cool textured typewriter font, with 'Music' printed in the color associated with danger, sacrifice, and passion.
If this sounds like your job as a musician ... or if you stand in solidarity with classical musicians everywhere who are struggling to keep their livelihoods and artistic reputations intact ... join the growing movement -- started by musicians -- to keep the music ongoing!
Designed by Robert Cobucci, The Music is Ongoing t-shirt is printed 2-colors on a high-quality black short sleeved t-shirt. 100% ring-spun cotton jersey with taped neck and shoulders, double-needle sleeve and bottom hem. Available in sizes M-3XL. Sorry! S sold out!
The purchase of this t-shirt includes a contribution to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association.
By Tom Baxter
Last week two lockouts came to an end. While there was a sense of relief in both cases, the two episodes ended very differently.
The National Football League officials’ lockout concluded with what must be the first standing ovation in the history of professional sports saluting not the players but the refs, as the completely vindicated regular NFL officials took the field for last Thursday night’s Cleveland Browns-Baltimore Ravens game.
Read more in SaportaReport
For the first time ever, more than 30 members of the ASO are coming together to present a marathon evening of chamber music.
Eddies Attic - Decatur, GA
Sunday September 30 @ 7pm
Doors Open at 6pm
Hear the musicians of the ASO as you never have before - in small ensembles featuring music by Bach, Mozart, Brahms, Golijov, Reich, and others.
Proceeds to benefit the musicians
after their recent lockout.
Atlanta, GA, September 26, 2012:
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association (ASOPA) announced that the musicians voted to accept a new Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) for the term of September 23, 2012 – September 6, 2014.
In an unprecedented and extremely painful move designed to keep the music going, ASOPA agreed to every dollar in concessions that the Woodruff Arts Center (WAC) and ASO management have demanded since the lockout began on August 25. In the interest of continuing to bring music to the community and opening the season on time, ASOPA has accepted $5.2 million in concessions over a brief two-year agreement.
The concessions were made against the backdrop of ASO board chair Jim Abrahamson’s claim that the ASO is “on the brink of extinction.” Despite its executives’ dire assessment, the only ASO gesture toward sharing the financial pain is an agreement that CEO Stanley Romanstein, his second in command Donald F. Fox (whose salaries alone were $314,000 and $291,000, respectively, according to the most recent IRS documents filed by the ASO) and three other ASO managers will merely have their aggregate pay cut by 6%. No staff running ASO subsidiaries, including Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, will be affected. The musicians had proposed that all staff earning the equivalent of their base salary and above share equally in the musicians’ sacrifices, which would have yielded exponentially greater savings.
Those charged with overseeing the ASO have done historic damage to the future of the Orchestra by insisting on an arbitrary “musicians’ share” of $5.2 million. They have set the ASO back over 31 years in work weeks for the musicians and over 10 years in musicians’ compensation, not even taking inflation into account. This will make it all the more challenging to retain and continue to attract the talent that has brought international acclaim and national prominence to Atlanta’s Grammy award-winning ensemble.
The musicians’ costs were a mere 28% of the total ASO budget in recent years, a figure which will now drop to 24%. Yet the musicians will now produce the vast majority of the savings demanded by the ASO and the WAC, absorbing 17% and 14% individual pay cuts in the two years of the agreement. The number of musicians will drop from 95 to 88, a figure that is almost eclipsed by the current ASO administrative staff of 74. The season will be reduced from 52 to 41 weeks in 2012-13 and 42 weeks in 2013-14. The musicians also agreed to shoulder part of their health insurance premiums, and to increased flexibility in working conditions, allowing ASO management to utilize the orchestra in smaller ensembles simultaneously.
When the ASO was last the size and season length it is being reduced to now, the administrative staff was smaller than 15. The musicians are not, and have never been, the cause of financial problems at the ASO, and in light of these agonizing cuts cannot be cited as such in the future. Their world-class performance is in stark contrast to that of the ASO’s leadership, both current and past. Management must be held accountable for under-performance at nearly every level for the past decade. For example, the operations of the ASO’s expensive summer venues, Chastain Park and Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (where the musicians will hardly play in the future) have repeatedly failed to meet revenue projections. These failures account for a huge proportion of the ASO’s recent deficits. The ASO and WAC boards and the public must demand serious results from management -- results that will begin rebuilding the ASO to major-league status.
The musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra have agreed to these deep concessions for one reason alone, and that is to do what they do best: continue to play great music for their public at an extraordinarily high level. They hope you will join them in support and recognition of this sacrifice by attending upcoming concerts, donating generously, and recognizing that the people on stage are the assets that must be preserved.
The MLB Players Association stands with the members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association
"The Major League Baseball Players Association stands with the members of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association in their efforts to obtain a fair collective bargaining agreement in their current negotiations."
SOLOISTS DAVID COUCHERON & WILLIAM PU TO BE FEATURED AT ATL SYMPHONY MUSICIANS BENEFIT CONCERTS THIS WEEK
September 17, 2012: Concertmaster David Coucheron and Associate Concertmaster William Pu will headline the two benefit concerts presented by the ATL Symphony Musicians on Thursday and Friday, September 20 & 21. The Orchestra's two lead violinists will perform the Double Violin Concerto by J.S. Bach. The program will also include Beethoven's 5th Symphony and Rossini's famous Barber of Seville Overture.
The two special benefit concerts will be at 8:00 PM at the Center for the Arts at North Atlanta High School, 2875 Northside Drive NW. No admission will be charged, but donations towards the musicians' health insurance, cut off during the current lockout by the Woodruff Arts Center, are gratefully accepted, as are expressions of support.
Michael Palmer, former Associate Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony (www.facebook.com/michael.palmer.conductor), will conduct.
Seating is limited and e-mail reservations are required. Those wishing to attend should email@example.com or call 404-802-4728 to reserve seats, including name and number of seats in the e-mail.
The Center for the Arts at North Atlanta High School is on Northside Drive, between W. Wesley and W. Paces Ferry Roads
Directions are available at this link: http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us//Domain/3382
For more info:
Dear Ms. Virginia Hepner and members of the WAC Executive Board,
I am a native of Atlanta and know well the history of the Atlanta Memorial Art Center as one of my relatives was killed in the Orly Plane crash. These were cultural leaders who died trying to bring some culture and art into their new beloved city. The Atlanta Memorial Arts Center was built to honor those who died and to create cultural awareness in our city. Management of a large city orchestra and its parent company WAC should step back and think about the origins of The Atlanta Memorial Arts Center and what it meant and means to us.
This is one reason I am so horribly disappointed that the WAC and the ASO have come to the point where they are using the artists, who are the reason citizens of this city come to the arts center, as the scapegoats in their financial debacle. The artists do not make budgetary decisions on guest soloists and conductors. They are not the ones who decided to build Verizon even though they already had years of proof with Chastain that it would not be a moneymaker. These decisions rest entirely with the top managers who certainly seem to have comfortable salaries and bonuses.
Nor was it the musicians’ choice to be stuck playing in antiquated Symphony Hall.
This multi-purpose hall still looks the way I remember it looking like back in the late 60s! The over the top design for the new hall never made it off the ground. I’m sure the architect, Calatrava as wonderfully talented and famous as he is didn’t come cheap. Wouldn’t it have been wonderful if real thought, planning, and a practical budget had gone into designing a new space, which could have been a reasonably attainable goal? Then perhaps Atlanta audiences could experience the true sound of our orchestra. I heard a different orchestra when they played Carnegie Hall. I was astounded that we have an orchestra of such talent, but they are left to play in the horrible acoustics of our multi-purpose Symphony Hall, which looks all too similar to school auditoriums and joint cafeterias all the way down to the flag in the corner and the vanilla paint. Until very recently the conductor of our world renown orchestra conducted from a stand made of plywood. While that has finally been upgraded, the orchestra members still sit on unpainted plywood platforms. This is how our musicians are treated. Atlanta has no idea of the talent we are so fortunate to have. An orchestra such as this takes many years of practice and of being together in order to blend and to anticipate each other’s reactions to produce the kind of sound we are privileged to hear. It seems the WAC has been able to remodel its offices twice in the not so distant past yet Symphony Hall, which the ASO has RENTED from WAC for almost 50 years, is left with nothing.
So is it any wonder that of course all the deficits and financial difficulties are put on the musicians. For the musicians’ proposals and supporters’ questions and desires for this unfortunate and futile lock out to end, the only response from management is the same rote version, carefully worded with miscalculated errors, which neglect to tell the real story. The musicians received raises, which they then gave back, twice I believe in 2009 and in 2010. But there is no mention of those sacrifices. Did the ASO management also give back raises? I’m betting no. You talk about what you provide for the musicians, what about their instruments? Instruments are not provided like businesses provide computers, cars, homes and expense accounts. Do you realize the cost of their instruments would make most corporations weak in the knees just thinking about the cost of even relatively good instruments, not to mention the phenomenal instruments we have the opportunity to hear played with decades of experience. This country is tired of greedy management who waste money and spends unwisely and then blames others to get away with their mistakes. You all paint a picture of musicians who hardly work for their money and get everything in return. So, whom are you all going to get to take their places when the crème of the ASO leave for other orchestras where they will be appreciated? Do you think audiences will flock to a small pared down orchestra? Do you think the arts in Atlanta will be a selling point for tourists and business travelers and companies?
The Atlanta we so enjoy today is because of men like Robert Woodruff, Richard Rich and Ivan Allen. These men made Atlanta a place to love and be proud of. They believed in what was good for Atlanta was good for them – the businessmen of Atlanta were the business leaders of Atlanta who generously donated to charitable and civic organizations. Now… it is all “what is in it for me?” No wonder Atlanta is no longer a place to be proud of, a place that business is fighting to move to, or a place where the arts – a gracious form of entertainment that has been loved for centuries is now something that if lost,” isn’t a big deal”?
So, the musicians offered to again take a cut in pay, but why is it so unreasonable for management to do the same. If not all management then the one’s at the top. How about doing what Ivan Allen would do at meetings. He would have Robert Woodruff’s generous support then all the rest of the movers and shakers of the city would happily join in to contribute, because it is the right thing to do. Surely you all should be able to think of other solutions. Sell the property for the new hall that has no plans to be built, sell Verizon Wireless and court and inspire more corporate donors. If anyone should be able to do this I would think it would be the Woodruff Arts Center. You all should be able to appreciate the irony of how in 2012, 50 years after the Orly plane crash, it is the Woodruff Art Center management who will change and possibly destroy the art and culture started in the building you are custodians of. The very building that was built to encourage the arts and lead Atlanta in appreciation and love of great artistic talent. I hope you all can be proud and live with your legacy.
Patron of the Art
September 14, 2012: The musicians of the ATL Symphony Orchestra will present two special benefit concerts Thursday, September 20 and Friday, September 21 at 8 PM at Center for the Arts at North Atlanta High School, 2875 Northside Drive NW. No admission will be charged, but donations towards the musicians' health insurance, cut off during the current lockout by the Woodruff Arts Center, are gratefully accepted, as are expressions of support.
Michael Palmer, former Associate Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony (www.facebook.com/michael.palmer.conductor), will conduct. The program will be announced next week.
Seating is limited and e-mail reservations are required. Those wishing to attend should e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> or call 404-802-4728 to reserve seats, including name and number of seats in the e-mail.
Center for the Arts at North Atlanta High School is on Northside Drive, between W. Wesley and W. Paces Ferry Roads Directions are available at this link: http://www.atlanta.k12.ga.us//Domain/3382
For more info: