BREAKING NEWS: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra lockout ends

New four-year deal reached


  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • THE NEW DEAL: The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians and management have agreed to a four-year collective bargaining agreement.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians and management have reached a new deal on a collective bargaining agreement. Over the last two days the agreement was approved by the Woodruff Arts Center’s Governing Board and ratified by the membership of the ASO Players’ Association. The agreement ends the current lockout.

The four-year collective bargaining agreement includes a six percent pay increase for the musicians; a new high-deductible healthcare plan, which will include increased premium contributions; an initial complement of 77 musicians in year one, and a goal of 88 players by the fourth year.

The ASO’s 70th season will begin with performances on Thurs., Nov. 13 and Sat., Nov. 15. Led by Music Director Robert Spano the orchestra and chorus will perform Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 9” and Mozart’s “Violin Concerto No. 5” with David Coucheron.

In a statement, ASO Associate Principal Violist and President of the Musicians’ negotiating team Paul Murphy voiced his approval. “This agreement brings the restoration of a harmonious relationship within everyone’s grasp based on work we must do together to restore missing positions in the Orchestra while stabilizing and advancing the financial position of the Woodruff Arts Center and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra,” Murphy said.

Virginia A. Hepner, president and CEO of the WAC acknowleded the “significant concessions” made by both sides during negotiations with a federal mediator. “While completion of the agreement is wonderful news, the reality is that the hard work begins now,” Hepner said. “Together we must find new, compelling ways to engage the community to assure the support the Orchestra needs. We must work together with Music Director Robert Spano and our musicians to get more people in Symphony Hall and more donors willing to support our extraordinary Orchestra. We are confident we can make that happen.”