Sunday, October 19, 2014

Who's Left?

I sit here today, like many of my friends and colleagues, wondering
why WAC is stalling on mediation.

I'm somewhat reassured, by people who know the folks at the WAC, that the WAC's mediating group isn't organized enough -- or authorized, it seems -- to pull off some kind of negotiation magic without first harping about hurt feelings and ingratitude and, in a mystifying move, leaving the table.

But I think their lawyer, Tom Kilpatrick from Alston & Bird ('complex and class action employment litigation and traditional labor law') -- and who will be negotiating at the table next week -- has an end game here.  He doesn't need the WAC to be organized.  He just needs time.

The longer WAC prolongs mediation and defers resolution, the more players are forced to leave town for subs engagements or take permanent positions elsewhere.  If we are not vocal in our protests --RIGHT NOW -- the WAC will soon have, through attrition, the freelance orchestra it wanted in the first place.

Between last season and this one, the ASO has lost 12 players -- due to retirement, deaths of two good friends, administrative leave, and a few leaving to take up permanent positions in new orchestras (one player left a principal position here to take up an associate principal position elsewhere!). 


These 12 vacant positions 
have not been filled!

Are we going to let the WAC and Tom Kilpatrick 'solve' its problem of 'downsizing' through stalling tactics, while more players are forced to leave?

We have to say 'NO MORE!'

Please read Jon Gunnemann's Open Letter to the ASO Board.  Get the history, get the facts.
Read Mask of the Flower Prince most recent blog post for a thoughtful rebuttal of Virginia Hepner's public statements.
Please read the Message to the ASO Board from ATL Symphony Musicians for the latest update on the mediation progress (or lack of progress, in my opinion)


We must get the word out!
  Please send letters to:

The National Labor Relations Board - Atlanta Office
Information.Officer@nlrb.gov
Website:   http://www.nlrb.gov/region/atlanta

Fulton County Commissioners
John Eaves   chairman@fultoncountyga.gov
Robb Pitts    robb.pitts@FultonCountyGa
Liz Hausmann    liz.hausmann@fultoncountyga.gov
Emma Darnell    emma.darnell@fultoncountyga.gov
Bill Edwards    commissioner.edwards@fultoncountyga.gov
Tom Lowe    tom.lowe@fultoncountyga.gov
Joan Garner   joan.garner@fultoncountyga.gov

Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce
Hala Moddelmog   President & CEO  president@maccoc.com
Brian McGowan   Executive VP & COO   BMcGowan@macoc.com
Bari Love SVP Communications & Marketing   blove@macoc.com
Janice Rys SVP Membership & Development Services   jrys@maccoc.com
Katie Kirkpatrick SVP Policy Innovation and Entrepreneurship    kkirkpatrick@maccom.com

Office of Mayor Kasim Reed
His Honor Kasim Reed  kreed@atlantaga.gov
Anne Torres Director Communication   ATLMedia@atlantaga.gov
Camille Russell Love Executive Director Office of Cultural Affairs   CRLove@atlantaga.gov
Lena Carstens  Program Manager Arts in Education   lcarstens@atlantaga.gov


City of Atlanta Board of Ethics  
website http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=543
email ethicsofficer@atlantaga.gov 
The Board of Ethics has jurisdiction over the Standards of Conduct in the City's Code of Ordinance, which covers the following issues:
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Gratuities and gifts
  • Travel, meals, and refreshments
  • Tickets
  • Use of city property
  • Extra jobs and outside employment
  • Doing business with the city
  • Use of confidential information
  • Representing private interests before city agencies
  • Representing private interests in matters adverse to the city
  • Solicitations
  • Financial disclosure
  • One-year cooling off period
Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education
Please write to the Board members, to remind them that there won't be any of
this:   http://www.atlantasymphony.org/EducationAndCommunity/TDP.aspx
or this:  http://www.atlantasymphony.org/EducationAndCommunity/ForEducators.aspx
or this: http://www.atlantasymphony.org/EducationAndCommunity/ASYO.aspx 
or this:  http://www.atlantasymphony.org/EducationAndCommunity/Community.aspx
without their immediate help in urging the WAC to end the lockout.  Please ask Board members to communicate with the Mayor's office ... ask them to please get in touch with APS music faculty, who are not currently able to schedule school trips to hear the orchestra as part of their yearly curriculum. Those seriously affected by the lockout are the children, who are without these vital programs offered by ASO musicians.  There is no indication that WAC cares about these programs, or about the children bereft of them, enough to mediate fairly with the players. The damage WAC is doing to Atlanta Public Schools by its actions cannot be understated.

Courtney English Board Chair  cenglish@atlanta.k12.ga.us
Nancy Meister Vice Board chair  nmeister@atlanta.k12.ga.us
Leslie Grant lgrant@atlantapublicschools.us
Byron D. Amos  bamos@atlanta.k12.ga.us
Matt Westmoreland  mwestmoreland@atlantapublicschools.us
Steven Lee  slee@atlanta.k12.ga.us 
Eshe' P. Collins  epcollins@atlantapublicschools.us
Cynthia Briscoe Brown  cbriscoe_brown@atlanta.k12.ga.us
Jason Esteves jesteves@atlantapublicschools.us

Donors (this list will be developed further and updated).  

'Dear Mr. Anderson:  Guess where all your millions of dollars went ...'
Richard Anderson, CEO Delta Airlines  richard.anderson@delta.com 


Most of all, write and send links to your friends, your colleagues. 

When Tom Kilpatrick and the WAC team sit down to mediate next week, if the city of Atlanta movers and shakers -- and those most affected by the lockout -- were to make themselves heard, they will become partners in spirit with the ASOPA which will be working hard to Save The Symphony Atlanta over the next 4 days. 


End the ASO Lockout!
Write Your Letters Today!





Friday, October 17, 2014

An Open Letter to the Members of the ASO Symphony Board

An Open Letter to the Members of the ASO Symphony Board, and to All Donors and other Civic Leaders Who Love the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus:

The ASO Lockout and
the Battle for Atlanta’s Soul

A Call for Moral Courage and Leadership

The lockout of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is most often portrayed as a conflict over the musician’s contract in the context of declining audiences and revenue for classical music.  While there is superficial truth to this characterization, it is profoundly misleading.  The deeper truth is that the lockout is one battle among many in an all-out war being waged by the management and governing board of the Woodruff Arts Center to destroy the Symphony and, by extension, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus.  This war has been carefully planned by the WAC for at least 3-4 years and has been carried out to this point through two major assaults on the Symphony, the lockout in 2012, and the current lockout in 2014.  At every stage the WAC has carefully camouflaged its actions through euphemisms (“work stoppages”), misleading public statements, and outright mendacity about its intentions, its actions, and its financial situation.

If the WAC succeeds in its campaign of aggression, it will destroy the crown jewel of Atlanta’s cultural life, its world-renowned symphony and chorus.  Much has already been written about the ASO’s astonishing record of recordings, its record number of Grammys, its many triumphs in Carnegie Hall and on international tours.  It is incomprehensible to anyone knowledgeable about the arts and classical music that the WAC is bent on the destruction of this treasure rather than finding the resources to protect it.  But there is another, more fundamental point to be made:  By destroying the ASO, the WAC is also defining Atlanta’s soul, permitting crass commercialism and the narrowest possible “bottom-line” thinking.  By commercialism I mean the belief that everything has a price, neglecting important human values and goods that cannot be given a market price.  The result is the triumph of short-term thinking and cost-cutting over the long-term nurturing and growth of the highest artistic achievements which have had and still can have a powerful role in shaping Atlanta’s civic life, enriching its culture, adding creativity in our schools, opening up imaginative and creative worlds for our youth, shaping the way Atlantans understand themselves and are perceived by the world.

By destroying the ASO the WAC is betraying the efforts and commitments of the founders of the Woodruff Arts Center, betraying the memory of the Atlanta arts leaders who died in the plane crash at Orly, Paris, in 1962, betraying the legacy of the great Robert Shaw, betraying the donors, subscribers and hundreds of volunteers who have supported the WAC and the Symphony over the last half-century, tragically limiting the future of our younger generation.  And, of course, it is treating the fine musicians of the ASO and their years of artistic preparation and achievement with utter contempt.

Make no mistake:  The current lockout is a brutal tactic designed to break the will of the ASO musicians.  The public statements by management speak of “work-stoppages” and of “continuing negotiations.” 

“Work-stoppage” can refer to either a strike or a lockout by management, and the ASO and WAC management use it to mask the fact of a lockout by them, a power move by privileged WAC management and board members, which not only cuts off all income for the players but leaves them and their families without healthcare and other benefits.  All the power—which is to say all of the money—is on the WAC’s side, and they have tried their best to control how the conflict is perceived by the larger public.  To claim, as the ASO has in emails to its subscribers, that Symphony performances have been cancelled while negotiations take place is barely short of an outright lie:  In spite of repeated attempts by the Musicians to engage in negotiations over the last nine months, the WAC has not once agreed to meet.  What they did was to deliver to the Musicians one “last, best, and final offer,” demanding unconditional surrender by the Orchestra, even while Doug Hertz, Chair of the WAC Board of Governors, has made public statements that “we want to work with them.” 

The current process of mediation, which has just begun, will not, in my judgment, lead to a resolution because both Hertz and Virginia Hepner (President and CEO of the WAC) have made it clear that the budget must be balanced; but then claim that it can only be balanced by down-sizing the Orchestra and giving over control of the size (“complement”) of the orchestra and decisions for filling positions to ASO management. No major symphony orchestra has ever ceded this vital artistic decision to management.  The Musicians on their part have courageously made it clear that they cannot and will not yield control of their future, of their artistic excellence and integrity, to management.  To be clear: The most important points of conflict are in fact not negotiable and that likely means that the mediation process will fail.  If so, the lockout could last months or years and the damage to the ASO could be deep and irreparable.

It Is Time for Moral Courage and Leadership

The Symphony musicians (represented by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association, ASOPA) fully understand the nature of this frontal assault, as do their many supporters from among the Chorus, their peer orchestras across the nation, subscribers, donors, and a far-too-small group of concerned citizens who have been waging a grass-roots campaign to save the symphony and expose the WAC’s planned brutality, its ineptitude, and its mendacity. 

But the war cannot be won unless civic and business leaders from the Atlanta Symphony Board, perhaps even some from the WAC Board and from other major Atlanta institutions, have the moral courage to break ranks with the leadership of the WAC and lead the ASO down a new path of independent strength and excellence.  I appeal to all of you, in whatever position you occupy, to take a stand in this battle.  Failing to take a visible and outspoken stand now, when courageous action and leadership can still make a difference, is to permit irreparable damage to the ASO and to condone continued mismanagement of the ASO and the WAC.  Will you want, years from now, to look back and realize that “This happened on my watch”?  Maestros Spano and Runnicles have courageously broken with tradition, risking the anger of the WAC management, to speak out.  Will you?

Jon P. Gunnemann
Professor of Social Ethics, Emeritus, Emory University
ASO Donor for 15 years
ASO Subscriber for 32 years
ASO Chorus for 24 years

Supporting material:

What we know about the WAC’s assault on the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra:

1.     On May 11, 2011, the WAC’s Board of Trustees voted to revise its Articles of Incorporation, eliminating the ASO from its stated purpose.  I do not know whether the ASO Board knew about this significant change.  The change was certainly not made public, whether to donors of the ASO and the WAC, subscribers to the ASO, or to the general public.  It is not clear that the ASO Players knew about this.  But the change means that since 2011 the WAC no longer saw the nurturing and support of the ASO as part of its legal purpose; and that this decision was consciously made. 

The original stated purpose (since 1965, I think) was:  "to form a vehicle for achieving high quality artistic attainment for the benefit and erudition of the public and for the nurturing and developing of creative talents and performance of participants in both the visual and performing arts; to receive capital funds required to provide Atlanta and the Southeast with first-rate facilities for a college of the arts and a performing art center; and to provide the management and continuing financial support for maintaining and enhancing the development of Atlanta as a leading art center; and the arts affected shall include music, symphony . . . . ." (Emphasis added)
The purpose in the new Articles is:  "The non-profit corporation is organized pursuant to the Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code for the following purpose:  To serve as a single legal entity which fosters, promotes and produces significant artistic expression in a variety of arts including music theater, the visual arts and art education for the benefit of the general public, and to transact any activity otherwise permitted by law." (From IRS statement Form 990, emphasis added)

In sum:  The Symphony was replaced by “music theater” in the WAC’s statement of purpose a year before the ASO was to renegotiate its contract with the WAC in 2012.  Even if this quotation involves a typo, a missing comma after “music,” “symphony” no longer appears as part of the WAC’s purpose. In my mind, the most probable interpretation of this erasure of the ASO from its legal statement of purpose is that the WAC Board was laying groundwork for its first major battle with the ASO Players in 2012. 

2.    The 2012 Lockout:  The contract negotiations scheduled for 2012 never in fact materialized as negotiations.  The WAC leadership repeatedly called attention to the many years in which the ASO had operated a deficit; they noted that the WAC’s credit rating had been downgraded, and they insisted that the ASOPA make deep concessions in salaries and benefits, the length of the season, and the number of funded players (from 95 to 88).   The WAC spoke publicly of negotiating a new contract with the Players but in fact there were no negotiations.  In spite of repeated attempts by the ASOPA to meet with management, they were denied any meetings with the WAC Governing Board or leadership.  The Players were presented a “take-our-offer-or-leave it” from the WAC and, after being additionally threatened with the prospect of having their Fall engagement at Carnegie Hall cancelled, finally gave in to the draconian cuts in pay and orchestra complement.

Those are the bare-bones facts.  But around this battle the WAC was weaving a public narrative that was deceptive on almost all fronts.  The down-grading of the WAC’s credit rating was consistently cited as a major reason for demanding concessions from the ASO in spite of the fact that the down-grading was chiefly a result of the debt incurred by the WAC in building the Verizon Amphitheater. Publicly the WAC referred to ongoing negotiations when they in fact rebuffed every ASOPA effort at negotiation.  Requests by the ASOPA and others for financial disclosure from the WAC were rebuffed.  The President and CEO of the ASO at the time, Stanley Romanstein, came to speak to the ASO Chorus at its second rehearsal that Fall and told us that there were many rumors circulating about the contract process; that rumors were dangerous; and that if anyone asked us about the process, we should answer, “The negotiations are on-going,” asking us several times to repeat this as a chant.  Two days later the WAC and ASO management locked out the players.  No negotiations had taken place.  The players finally relented and made ALL the concessions demanded of them in part because they were promised, by the WAC through Stanley Romanstein, that these concessions would be a “one-time” event, giving the ASO two years to do major fund-raising and get back on its financial feet, after which, in 2014, a more generous contract could be negotiated.

In sum:  The WAC had launched its first public attack on the ASO disguising it as “negotiations”; justifying its actions by appealing to a debt for which it was itself primarily responsible; further cloaking all of the substantive issues with a complete lack of financial or decision-making transparency; and making a promise to the Players that turned out to be either false or a lie.  It won this first battle.

3.     Between 2012 and 2014:  A few markers with omens for the next public battle in 2014:

a.     Stanley Romanstein received a reported $45,000 bonus from the WAC for his good work the preceding year.  Others at the WAC also received substantial bonuses.

b.     On the promise to raise funds for the ASO:  We have heard that some significant gifts were made to the ASO, including from members of the WAC and ASO boards.  But:

-       No major fund-raising campaign, no capital campaign asking for a broad base of support was publicly announced.
-       Letters to subscribers and donors asking for donations at various levels, ceased to go out.  My wife and I became donors when we first received such a letter about 15 or more years ago, and every year after we renewed our gift upon receiving another letter.   About three years ago, these letters stopped.  When I called the ASO development office and asked why, I was simply told that this was not done anymore.  My request that the ASO management reinstate the practice was met with silence.  Conversations with numerous friends and acquaintances confirmed that they too no longer received such letters. 
-       In late summer of 2013, some of us learned that the ASO Development Department had failed to meet its fundraising goal by two-thirds.  The Delta Airlines initiative, led by Richard Anderson, had been put in place to stimulate corporate donations; the original plan was that ASO Management would raise a substantial amount, the total of which would be enough to close the deficit.  However, to raise these funds, ASO Development Department went, unaccountably, to these same corporate donors asking for money.  The ASO was told “we have already given our share.”  This epic blunder, to my knowledge, was never adequately addressed in public, but had serious repercussions later in 2013.   

c.     During this time, the administrative staff of the ASO grew steadily.  We (some of us who have been working in support of the ASO Players) have learned that, on average, 40% of the total budget of U.S. symphony orchestras goes to players salaries and benefits.  The figure last year for the ASO was 25%.  Clearly the ASO has become administratively top-heavy with no measurable benefit from the standpoint of the financial health of the Symphony itself.  75% is a MASSIVE overhead and it needs to be asked whether reducing the size of the administrative staff would free up sufficient funds to help pay musicians salaries and benefits.

d.     In the Spring of 2014, the WAC and the ASO management moved to cancel the Carnegie Hall performance of the ASO/ASOC because of financial shortfall.  The story of Robert Spano’s courageous and dramatic intervention is now well-known to those who have been following the story, and has been reported in the national press:  Maestro Spano put $50,000 of his own funds on the table, then worked with a few others, telephoning across the nation, to raise the money needed.  Two things stand out from this story:  One is that Maestro Spano had to make the case to management and the Board about the importance of this performance not only for the ASO but for the City of Atlanta.  The second is that the money was raised in a short period of time, underscoring the weakness of the efforts of the WAC and the ASO to raise money.

e.     Here, a judgment more than a fact, but a judgment based on extensive conversations with other patrons and subscribers:  The marketing for the ASO the last years has been an embarrassment, packaging performance of classical music in terms of what seem to be assumed needs and drives of the public (sex, wine, and hedonism generally).  Why not talk about the way in which classical music differs from these human drives?  There has been no evidence that the people who are in positions of marketing and development at the ASO have any experience in the arts or any real interest in the music itself.

In sum:  The events between 2012 and 2014 showed a) large financial rewards for administrators whose chief work had been to cripple the ASO; b) no broad-based public efforts to raise funds for the ASO or to raise public awareness about the problems; c) a substantial growth of administrative staff and administrative overhead, likely to the detriment of the ASO musicians; d) inept and/or misguided fund-raising and marketing.   All of these were indicators that the promise made to the players in 2012 could not, and would not, be kept, something the players feared during this interim period.

4.     The current 2014 Lockout: 

The promise to the ASOPA in 2012—that that the deep cuts, both financial and with regard to orchestra complement, made then was a “one-time” correction—was broken at the beginning of the period for contract negation.  As in 2012, the ASOPA was again presented with an aggressive take-it-or-leave-it package requiring de facto cuts in pay because of higher medical costs; a further cut in the number of players from 88 to 78; and, most crucial, conceding future control of complement to the President of the ASO which meant, de facto, to the WAC Governing Board.  The tactics used in this second public battle were similar to those used in 2012:  Public statements that regularly obscured and misled by referring to “work-stoppage” rather than a “lockout”; to negotiations which were in fact not taking place; claims by Doug Hertz in public interviews that “we want to work with them” when in fact the WAC and top ASO management had refused even to met with them.  I have detailed most of this in the body of the letter.

As I write, mediation is underway.  It is not at all clear that the WAC genuinely intends to engage the mediating process.  Having first made public statements welcoming the mediation as a solution, we have learned from several sources (including an email from the ASOPA to the ASO Board and others) that after the first meeting with the mediators, Virginia Hepner and her colleagues left the table indicating that she and her team had no proposals to offer and did not have the authority to negotiate a deal.  There has now been a prolonged pause in the negotiations, with no explanation from the WAC.  So, questions abound:  Was the WAC serious about mediation?  Or was this another attempt to create a public impression of being ready to negotiate, then not doing so?  Was the WAC so in the dark that it did not know what was expected in the first sessions of a mediating session?  If Virginia Hepner does not have the authority to negotiate a settlement, who does?  And why was she there?  What game is being played? 

It is not possible to know the outcome if the mediation does continue.  But if the WAC gains the concessions it is demanding, or if the WAC simply lets the lockout continue without entering into mediation, it will be a catastrophic blow to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its Chorus. 

We can not let that happen!


In the above “Supporting Material” for my letter, I have tried to rely on factual reports from many sources.  It is possible that I have erred in places and I welcome corrections.  The interpretations of the facts are, of course, mine.  


JPG

Mediation: From the Mask of the Flower Prince

Bargaining in good faith is probably a lost art ...

http://maskoftheflowerprince.wordpress.com/2014/10/17/mediation/

Intimate Conversations: Music in a Small Space

The Concert  Johannes Vermeer c.1664


October 17   7:30 p.m.

ATL Symphony Musicians


Peachtree Presbyterian Church
Kellett Chapel
3434 Roswell Rd NW 
Atlanta, GA 30305


Intimate Conversations:  Music in a Small Space is a concert dedicated exclusively to the art of chamber music, 'the music of friends'. 
Goethe described a string quartet as 'four rational people conversing'.  It is this 'conversational paradigm' which influenced the great Baroque, Classical and Romantic composers of chamber music, and is found in chamber works of the present day. 
Musical parties for performing and listening to chamber music were often held in private homes, which offered far more pleasant performance environments (regular Sunday morning parties were given by the Mozart, and later, Mendelssohn families).  
Small, appreciative audiences, comprised of close friends and relatives, would also include special guests, who were the best-known, most influential musicians of the day. Frederic Chopin, pathologically shy in large groups, had an active career performing salon recitals. Joseph Joachim and Clara Schumann debuted many of Robert Schumann's chamber works, on the same evening during which Liszt might elaborate on a Hungarian melody with three or four variations.
ATL Symphony Musicians Chamber Players have created a unique program to honor the art of 'the music of friends', featuring Baroque to contemporary works, and hope you will join them in the intimate setting of Kellett Chapel.
Performers:
David Coucheron, Julie Coucheron, Chris Rex, Brad Ritchie, Laura Ardan, Elisabeth Remy Johnson, Emily Brebach, Tim Whitehead, Todd Skitch, Anastasia Agapova, Cathy Lynn, Keith Buncke, Andrew Bayles
Program:
Handel-Halvorsen Passacaglia for Violin and Viola
Henri Dutilleux Oboe Sonata
Felix Mendelssohn Piano Trio No. 1 in D Minor
Andres Jolivet Pastorales de Noel for Flute, Harp, and Bassoon
Robert Schumann Piano Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 47
Libby Larsen Barn Dances For Flute, Clarinet and Piano

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Message to ASO Board from ATL Symphony Musicians

Save Our Symphony Atlanta obtained the following letter, which was sent to the ASO Board earlier this evening ... we are sharing it here to inform people about the WAC’s actions -- or lack of action -- in mediation.

A Message to Members of our ASO Board of Directors from the Musicians of the Orchestra

We write to you this evening in order to keep you as up-to-the-minute informed as possible on where we are in the mediation process.

Unfortunately, the actions of the Woodruff Arts Center’s representatives, acting for the ASO, have been very disappointing. Last week, we agreed to make ourselves available for meetings with FMCS Acting Director Allison Beck and her colleague, Rich Giacolone, which were scheduled from Tuesday morning through the remainder of the week. We cleared our schedules (and several of us turned down lucrative work for the week that we very much need after six weeks of lockout) in order to fully engage and be able to reach a contract settlement last week.

Yet after only two days of participating in the mediated negotiation process (October 7 – 8), the WAC’S representatives (Virginia Hepner, WAC lawyer Tom Kilpatrick, Susan Ambo and Julie Fish) left the table to await further guidance and instruction from the WAC Governing Board, so meetings for the remainder of the week were cancelled. We expected to hear from them or the mediators Monday so that we could meet this week. We have not heard from the WAC about the results of the “pause” they sought in the mediation process — but clearly, once again, they arrived at the table with neither proposals nor the ability to authorize a deal.

Seven days have gone by since the mediation efforts were paused at the WAC’s request. But yesterday we were informed by Allison Beck that there will be now no meeting this week. Ms. Beck had informed everyone that she would be away for one week beginning tomorrow, but would make her able colleague, Mr. Giacolone, available, which we indicated was agreeable to us. We have also communicated that with or without the mediators’ participation, the ASOPA committee can receive proposals and meet to discuss them, and can reach an agreement. However, as we write you this afternoon, we have no meeting scheduled.

Our will to preserve our Orchestra is every bit as strong as our desire that this damaging lockout end. We continue to wait for movement from the WAC leadership that would preserve the ASO as a world-class orchestra and prevent the image of the City of Atlanta from being further tarnished as a premier destination to visit, to live, and to be in business.

We call on you to reach out within the WAC and the ASO, as well as to the Governor, our Mayor, and other civic leaders of metro Atlanta, to make clear to the Woodruff Arts Center leadership that the destructive tactics typified by the lockout and takedown of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, if allowed to persist, will have serious and far-reaching consequences for the ASO, the Woodruff Arts Center and our entire community. The insensitivity to the Musicians and our families, who have been deprived of paychecks, healthcare benefits, and the ability to collect unemployment benefits for six weeks now, however, is daily more deplorable — and already we are losing Musicians to other orchestras. The damage already wrought by the WAC – the very institution entrusted with the stewardship of Atlanta’s cultural pride — will take years to reverse. But it can be reversed, and must be.

We are very appreciative of the guidance and support offered by Ms. Beck and Mr. Giacolone through the FMCS. We understand that it is not they who can make a settlement happen, unless the WAC avails itself of the opportunity to stop wasting precious time and truly work to get the ASO back in its place, serving the Atlanta community through its artistry.

Please make your voices heard!

Chamber Music: A Journey Through the Mind of a Composer

Over the past two seasons, Carolyn and I have had the honor to underwrite the pre-concert chamber music performances by ATL Symphony Musicians at Symphony Hall.  There are several reasons we think it crucial that audiences experience our superb Orchestra Musicians performing this repertoire.  When great composers write for intimate ensembles, they are often inspired to embark upon musical journeys only hinted at in their large orchestral pieces.  Works like the late Beethoven String Quartets and the Schubert C Major String Quintet provide a unique and awe-inspiring window into their creative genius.
How much more fulfilling is the experience when world-class Musicians perform this repertoire!  And not just world-class Musicians, but long-standing colleagues who have had the benefit of years and years of collaboration.  Our Musicians tell me, time and time again, that their orchestral collaborations inform their chamber performances.  And the converse is true, as well.
Carolyn and I look forward to the day when these treasured chamber performances will return to the stage of Symphony Hall.  Until then, thank-you for supporting these great artists, and the music they share with us.

—Ken Meltzer
Friday, October 17, 7:30 pm


Peachtree Presbyterian Church
Kellett Chapel
3434 Roswell Road NW
Atlanta GA  30305 

ATL Symphony Musicians Chamber Players
present
Intimate Conversations:  Music in a Small Space

Chamber works by Handel-Halvorsen, Dutilleux, Mendelssohn, Jolivet, Schumann, and Larsen
Tickets Available in Advance:  http://goo.gl/r6v6NM
For more information, please call 770/765-5650




Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Matt Haimovitz and ATL Symphony Musicians in Concert

Poster design:  Aaron Villalobos
Matt Haimovitz
ATL Symphony Musicians
Richard Prior, Conducting

Tuesday, October 14
7:30 p.m.
Dunwoody Methodist Church

Tickets $25 Adults, $15 Seniors, $5 Students
Tickets at door.  No advance purchase

Matt Haimovitz's October 14 appearance with ATL Symphony Musicians promises to be something completely different:  fresh, singular, engaging. Haimovitz has spent his life exploring inside and outside the classical repertoire box.  Through his artistry, audiences are discovering a whole new range of color, tone and expression in the cello. Haimovitz' concert programs include works by Jimi Hendrix as well as Bach. The program, at Dunwoody Methodist Church, features Josef Haydn's Cello Concerto in C Major, a collection of Baroque and contemporary works for solo cello.  Richard Prior, who conducts this concert, composed Elegy for Aurora which is also featured on this program.

From Oxingale Records:  (Matt Haimovitz) brings a fresh ear to familiar repertoire, champions new music, and initiates groundbreaking collaborations as well as creating innovative recording projects. Read the entire review here.

And he walks here among us, on Tuesday night at Dunwoody Methodist Church, playing the Haydn Cello Concerto in C Major, plus Richard Prior's Elegy for Aurora, Richard Prior, and other solo cello works.

Here's a link to his website ... http://www.matthaimovitz.com/