Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Unsettled ASO dispute results in two free symphony concerts

Posted By on Tue, Sep 18, 2012 at 1:41 PM

STAY TUNED: Unsettled contract disputes resulting from budget shortfalls have resulted in two free Atlanta Symphony concerts this Thursday and Friday.
  • Jeff Roffman.
  • STAY TUNED: Unsettled contract disputes resulting from budget shortfalls have resulted in two free Atlanta Symphony concerts this Thursday and Friday.
It's a bad news/good news angle that's reminiscent of a toxic oil spill resulting in discount beach vacations: Recent contract disputes at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra have resulted in two free symphony concerts.

The two free benefit concerts will take place on Thursday and Friday, September 20 and 21, at 8 p.m. 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, currently cut off during the lockout at the Woodruff Arts Center, are being accepted.

Seating is limited and e-mail reservations are required. Those wishing to attend should e-mail rrcolbert@atlanta.k12.ga.us or call 404-802-4728 to reserve seats, including name and number of seats in the e-mail.

The toxic spill that's given us these free concerts is an estimated $19.8 million in debt at the ASO. The severity of the debt led to failed negotiations between administration and musicians about cuts, which led to a lockout, which led to a work stoppage, which led to the musicians being currently without salary or benefits, which led to these benefit concerts. Although the concerts are free, donations are welcomed and go to a very good cause: some of the ASO musicians have serious ongoing health problems, including cancer, and are currently without insurance.

The concerts will be conducted by Michael Palmer, former Associate Conductor of the Atlanta Symphony, with programs to be announced later this week. For more information, visit the ASO Players Association Facebook page or the ASO.

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