In Monday’s (8/25) ArtsATL, Jenny Jarvie writes that negotiations between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association and management “have been going on for more than eight months now…. Among the focus of disagreement are proposals to cut musicians’ pay and health care and scale back the size of the orchestra…. Stanley Romanstein, ASO’s president and CEO, announced last week that the company ended its fiscal year 2014 on target and on budget.” During the 2012 negotiations, when the orchestra faced a projected $5 million annual deficit, musicians agreed to a 15 percent salary cut, and the orchestra trimmed the number of full-time musicians from 95 to 88 and reduced the season from 52 to 42 weeks. “After devoting $18 million from its endowment to reducing its accumulated debt from operations, the company’s debt has dropped from $23 million to $5 million.… While the ASO has reduced its annual budget deficit from $5 million to $2 million, ticket sales and fundraising have declined in the last two years…. Across the country, many orchestras and performing arts companies are contending with financial deficits…. Yet even amid such challenges, other orchestras are rebounding and some are even experiencing record growth,” including orchestras in Chicago, Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Louisville.

Posted August 26, 2014