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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its musicians agree to mediation

By Maria Saporta

Late Saturday, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra sent out a press release saying that the ASA management and its musicians had agreed to mediation to try to find consensus on a contract.

The ASO management and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association (ASOPA) agreed to restart collective bargaining agreement discussions using a federal mediator.

The mediator is Allison Beck, deputy director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service. She served as the mediator during the Metropolitan Opera Musicians’ labor dispute in August.

ASOPA and Orchestra management failed to reach an agreement on a new contract before the expiration date of Sept. 6 at 11:59. The musicians have been locked out since that time, which caused the opening of the 2014-15 season to be postponed and concerts canceled through November 8, 2014.

“We are pleased that after weeks of an open offer, the musicians’ union has accepted mediation and we’re looking forward to getting back to the negotiating table,” said Stanley Romanstein, ASO’s president and CEO, in a statement.  “We are ready to resolve our differences and start the ASO’s 70th Anniversary Season.”

Once an agreement between Orchestra management and ASOPA is reached, the season will be resumed as soon as possible.

“We are all musicians or music enthusiasts at the Atlanta Symphony, and we are all striving for the same thing — a thriving classical music community that will flourish for decades to come,” Dr. Romanstein added. “We hope we can return music to the stage very soon.”

The release did not include a statement from the musicians.

For more information about the ASO’s financials and negotiations, visit: atlantasymphony.org/2014musiciantalks.

Information regarding concerts, refunds, fundraising activities and Orchestra programming is available at atlantasymphony.org.

The visit the website for the musicisians, please visit atlsymphonymusicians.com. 

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.



  1. KathyShawAmos September 28, 2014 12:30 pm

    From the ATL Symphony Musicians Facebook Page: 
    statement is in response to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s statement
    issued at approximately 9pm today, September 27th. We wish to correct
    the misleading information that WAC/ASO management distributed in that
    We received a formal request for mediation on
    Monday, September 22nd at 10:55am from WAC/ASO management. Three hours
    later, we accepted the suggestion to speak with Ms. Allison
    Beck, the Acting Director of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation
    Service, and were told that FMCS officials would be contacting us
    accordingly, which has not happened yet. Mediation will only be
    successful if the WAC/ASO management is willing to move off the terms of
    the demands they have been adamantly clinging to — in bad faith
    –since they locked us out three weeks ago tonight.
    musicians are happy to speak with FMCS Director Beck about pathways
    forward when she is able to be in touch with us. There is as yet no
    further agreement about the process.Report

  2. Burroughston Broch September 28, 2014 8:50 pm

    KathyShawAmos Maria should have confirmed with both sides before publishing.
    Best of luck!Report

  3. Burroughston Broch September 29, 2014 9:05 pm

    KathyShawAmos I hope Stanley Romanstein’s resignation today will result in a agreement between the parties.Report


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