Courtesy ASO
Courtesy ASO

The 70th anniversary season of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will open on Thursday, Nov. 13, after the orchestra’s musicians and management came to terms on a new four-year collective bargaining agreement this week.

Robert Spano, Music Director of the ASO, will conduct the orchestra and chorus performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5 with David Coucheron on Nov.13 and 15.

The new agreement was reached Thursday after lengthy negotiation sessions between the musicians and management with mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Services. The agreement was approved by the Woodruff Arts Center’s Governing Board and ratified by the membership of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association over the last two days.

“We are thrilled we have been able to reach agreement with the musicians,” said Virginia A. Hepner, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Woodruff Arts Center. “Over the last several difficult weeks of negotiations, both sides recognized that we all share the same goals and aspirations – we all want a world class orchestra that the musicians and city are proud of and one that has long-term financial stability. We believe this new agreement is one that will allow us to achieve those goals.”

The new agreement calls for a six percent pay increase for the musicians over the four years; participation by the musicians in a new high-deductible healthcare plan, which will include increased premium contributions by the musicians and additionally provides substantial savings to the ASO; an initial complement of 77 musicians in year one, a goal of 81 musicians in year two and a commitment to 84 musicians by the end of year three and 88 musicians by the end of year four.

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Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.