“When the well-regarded Atlanta Symphony Orchestra locked out its musicians in a labor dispute for the second time in two years and then announced this week that it was canceling the beginning of its 70th-anniversary season, its music director, Robert Spano, found himself worrying about what the silencing of the ensemble would mean for Atlanta,” writes Michael Cooper in Wednesday’s (9/24) New York Times. “ ‘This is a dire and critical juncture for the city of Atlanta, which is in danger of losing the flagship of its culture,’ Mr. Spano said … ‘If the 10th-largest urban economy in America is incapable of sustaining its cultural jewel, what does that signal about our country?’ … Mr. Spano lamented that ‘our brilliant and creative musicians, who need to be intimately involved in the creation of our path to the future, have been asked to leave the building—and Atlanta is left with a deafening silence.’ In speaking out publicly, if guardedly, about the lockout, Mr. Spano was breaking with tradition: Music directors typically remain silent when labor troubles erupt between their employers and the musicians they lead. ”

Posted September 24, 2014