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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Completes Amicable Contract Negotiations

Musicians and management of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) announced in early March that they had reached agreement on a three-year contract extension through the 2020-2021 season. Reflecting a renewed sense of collaboration and trust between the two sides, the negotiation process was conducted quietly and the agreement was reached six months ahead of schedule. ASO musicians, members of Local 148-462, endured lockouts in 2012 and 2014, as well as a drastic pay cut in 2012.

The contract extension will include increases to compensation totaling approximately 3% annually over the three-year period. In addition, the agreement includes changes to the orchestra’s work rules. The agreement was made possible due to the strong financial performance of the institution over the past four years, along with the generosity of an anonymous donor who stepped forward with support for compensation increases.

During the term of the extension, the orchestra’s complement remains unchanged. In the most recent contract, management agreed to raise $25 million for a musicians’ endowment fund to restore and fund 11 positions in the orchestra. ASO exceeded the $25 million goal and completed the campaign two years ahead of schedule. Auditions are in process to fill the final positions and raise the complement to 88 full-time musicians.

“The Musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra are pleased that respectful and productive negotiations resulted in this new contract,” says Atlanta Symphony Players’ Association Chair and ASO Cellist Daniel Laufer of Local 148-462. “This agreement is another important step forward in solidifying the financial foundation necessary to support the artistry of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. We would like to thank Jennifer Barlament [ASO executive director] and her senior leadership team, as well as Howard Palefsky, ASO board Chair, for making a positive difference during these negotiations. We are also very appreciative of the anonymous donor who so strongly believes in ASO musicians and understands the importance of continuing to restore the compensation package.”

Delta Air Lines Foundation Makes Pledge to Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Delta Air Lines Foundation has pledged to make a $2.5 million contribution to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO) Musicians’ Endowment Fund to help the orchestra reach its $25 million goal to permanently endow 11 musician positions.

Launched in 2014, the Musicians’ Endowment Fund is a key component of the Woodruff Arts Center’s $100 million Transformation Campaign. The foundation’s gift completes the Musicians’ Endowment Campaign nearly two years ahead of schedule. To date, more than $25 million in funds have been committed to the endowment fund and nine musicians have joined the orchestra over the past year. The Principal Tuba Chair held by Michael Moore, who celebrates his 49th season with the orchestra, will be named the Delta Airlines Chair.  

“We are profoundly grateful to the Delta Air Lines Foundation for this transformational gift,” says Jennifer Barlament, executive director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. “[It] will help lift the orchestra into a new era of artistic vitality and service to the community.”

Symphony Orchestra’s Players Association President Danny Laufer says, “This is a reassuring signal that the rebuilding of our orchestra is on the right path towards a brighter future.” Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians are members of Local 148-462 (Atlanta, GA).