Monthly Archives: September 2014

Review: The music takes on a new urgency as locked-out ASO musicians perform at KSU [ArtsATL]

by Mark Gresham | 29 Sep 2014

Friday’s two shows each drew capacity crowds. (Photos by David Caselli)

Locked-out musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, under the moniker “ATL Symphony Musicians,” performed a pair of back-to-back free concerts of music by Beethoven and …

A message from Robert Spano

Posted by Mark Gresham | 26 Sep 2014

Robert Spano, Music Director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, has issued the following message in the wake of last night’s “A Deafening Silence” demonstration on the Woodruff Arts Center campus, in front of the south entrance to the Galleria of Symphony Hall. Last night was to have been the opening night of the ASO’s 70th anniversary season, but the orchestra is in the midst of a lockout by management, which has canceled the orchestra’s concerts through Nov. 8. The musicians, under the moniker of ATL Symphony Musicians, will instead perform a pair of back-to-back concerts at Kennesaw State University’s 620-seat Morgan Hall, Bailey Performance Center, at 7pm and 9pm. Spano’s statement was first published by ArtsATL in a longer article by Jenny Jarvie, less than a half hour ago, which includes a statement by Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. See the full story on ArtsATL
Robert Spano (credit: Chris Lee)

Robert Spano (credit: Chris Lee)

I am a proud Atlantan. I have made my home here since 2001 and have loved the vitality and aspiration of my adopted city. I have also had the privilege and honor of being at the helm of one of the great musical institutions of our country.

The excellence that defines the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is rich with tradition: the profound legacy of Robert Shaw, a celebrated recording history — including 27 Grammy Awards — an historical and ongoing commitment to new and American music, path-breaking theatrical presentations, The Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and Talent Development Program, whose alumni are testament to their importance, and standard setting performances of the choral-orchestral repertoire with the legendary Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus. If this dynamic cultural institution is lost, it will be a blow to the musical life of our country and to music lovers everywhere. More importantly, for Atlantans, it will be a tragic loss for our city.

In the life of any great city beats the heart of a vibrant culture. The ASO has been a cornerstone of Atlanta for decades. Now we need no longer only imagine our city without the ASO. Concerts are currently canceled, and the brilliant and talented musicians who are the lifeblood of our orchestra are locked out. Many have dispersed to seek employment elsewhere.

As Atlantans, we must rise to the challenge of supporting and sustaining this treasure at the level of excellence we have known and are deservedly proud. The erosion of cultural life is a sure sign of the decay of civilization. But crisis can lead to opportunity, and ours is now. We can be the “shining city on a hill.”

~Robert Spano

Preview: Locked out ASO musicians to perform at Terminal West; more concerts planned [ArtsATL]

by Mark Gresham | 20 Sep 2014

ATL Symphony Musicians performed last month at the Charles R. Drew Charter School. (Photos by Mark Gresham)

This Monday, the locked out musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will perform an independent concert at Terminal West, the ultrahip concert venue located at …

Review: With ASO season in limbo, Peachtree String Quartet gives Atlanta a classical music fix [ArtsATL]

by Mark Gresham | 16 Sep 2014

The Peachtree String Quartet features locked out ASO musicians. (Photo by Mark Gresham)

A humid afternoon greeted the capacity plus audience at Garden Hills Recreation Center this past Sunday where the Peachtree String Quartet performed a concert of …

Preview: The Atlanta Opera’s Walter Huff on the piano, singing and building the perfect chorus [ArtsATL]

by Mark Gresham | 12 Sep 2014

The Atlanta Opera Chorus with Huff at the piano. (Photos by Jeff Roffman)

The Atlanta Opera is celebrating the 25th anniversary of Walter Huff as its chorus master with three performances of operatic choruses tonight and Sunday at Emory …

Preview: Two creative giants, Robert Spano and Lauri Stallings, join forces to go whole “cloth” [ArtsATL]

by Cynthia Bond Perry and Mark Gresham | 10 Sep 2014

Spano (left) and Stallings drew inspiration from the surroundings of the Goat Farm. (Photos by Thom Baker)

Robert Spano is in rehearsal. Barefoot. His blue jeans and loose-fitting shirt are not simply a matter of casual dress versus formal; rather, the music …

Locked-out Atlanta Symphony musicians picket Woodruff Arts Center

by Mark Gresham | 8 Sep 2014

Locked out at the stroke of midnight on Saturday night, early this morning the musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra began picketing Woodruff Arts Center, the 501(c)(3) non-profit which serves as the umbrella organization for the orchestra, the Alliance Theater and the Lical chapter of Young Audiences. Here are some photos from the morning commute time on Peachtree Street in from of WAC, in which Symphony Hall is located. (All photos, credit: Mark Gresham.)
ASO_picket MG_1990_small (credit Mark Gresham)

ASO_picket MG_2022_small (credit Mark Gresham)

ASO_picket MG_1956_small (credit Mark Gresham)

ASO_picket MG_1979_small (credit Mark Gresham)

ASO_picket MG_2026_small (credit Mark Gresham)

ASO_picket MG_2029_small (credit Mark Gresham)