This time last year, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) was on a collision course with ASO management and the Woodruff Arts Center (WAC) executive committee, a labor dispute that resulted in the second musicians’ lockout in as many years.
Today, the ASO is showing signs of financial health not seen in more than a decade, a condition which musicians and management agree bodes well for restoring the musical standards that had previously elevated the orchestra to critical acclaim, international prominence and a seemingly endless string of Grammy Awards.
In July, the WAC announced the ASO had closed out the abbreviated 2014-15 concert season with a six-figure budget surplus, the first positive ledger report in 11 years. Additionally, the WAC has kicked off a fundraising effort that so far has raised $14.3 million for the Musicians’ Endowment Campaign.
A dedicated campaign group led by Robert Spano and (ASO board member) John White is charged with organizing and managing endowment-related activities.
“We are very pleased that we have been able to achieve this goal,” said Terry Neal, the ASO’s interim CEO and president. “The improvement in our finances is gratifying, but more work remains to be done to achieve long-term financial stability while assuring the highest levels of symphonic music.”