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Atlanta musicians boycott board reception

We understand that musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and chorus refused to attend a board reception at Carnegie Hall, signifying their continued anger at the recent shotgun pay talks.

Here’s what happened:

The request for the players’ attendance was sprung on the musicians at the end of dress rehearsal. It was issued — in person — by incoming ASO Board chair, Karole Lloyd, who stepped up to the podium before the rehearsal began.

After the concert, however, chief executive Stanley Romanstein showed up unexpectedly outside the orchestra dressing room, where the line was forming to congratulate the conductor, Robert Spano. Romanstein was not on the roster to go on this trip; his appearance was a surprise and clinched the players’ refusal. They had not seen him since negotiations ended.

Musicians and chorus members continued to wear protest shirts throughout their time in New York.

And here’s a rehearsal shot with Mr Spano (who bought a solidarity shirt but forgot to wear it).

UPDATE: We hear further that representatives of the ASOPA Committee did go briefly to the reception to thank Karole Lloyd in person for her invitation and to communicate to her that there were many musicians who were not comfortable attending.

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  1. I deeply ….appreciate the response of the Atlanta Symphony Musicians to the last minute invitation.

  2. José Bergher says:

    I attended the concert. Conductor, soloists, orchestra and chorus were marvellous.

  3. Surely the incoming board chair could have found a more tactful way to invite them. After going through trauma like this at the hands of the board, of course the orchestra musicians are extremely wary of anything the board does. At the very least, the invitation should have been issued in such a way that the musicians had more time and space to consider it. And the executive director showing up at the musicians’ dressing room—yuck. Surely he realizes that the musicians don’t want to see him? Or were both Floyd and Romanstein being not tactless, but extremely deliberate about the message they wish to convey to the musicians?

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