Sunday, August 26, 2012

Atlanta Symphony Contract Deadline Passes: What is next?

As the current contract with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians expired on August 25, 2012, no deal had yet been reached in the ongoing negotiations between orchestra musicians and management. Management refused the deal proposed by the musicians suggesting that all orchestra employees take an 11% cut in pay, the result of which would have been a $5 million savings over the next two years. 

The orchestra is scheduled to open its new season on October 4th, if a new deal is reached in time. The Atlanta Symphony Website stated: 

“While the current contract between the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Federation of Musicians expired on August 25, 2012, both parties are continuing to work towards a solution. Negotiations are ongoing. We have some serious budget issues to address but we are all striving for the same thing — a thriving music community.”

Musicians are fearful of a lockout which would leave them without pay and health benefits. Atlanta Symphony president, Stanley Romanstein, denies that this will happen, but Donald Fox, vice president of business operations, stated in a letter to musicians that they have no authority to continue to receive benefits past the time of the current contract's expiration. 

What is next? Could there be a strike in store? 

Full article HERE

Detailed information about negotiations can be found HERE. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Atlanta Symphony: new proposal includes pay cuts for musicians and staff

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, with a debt that could reach $20 million by 2013, has agreed to an 11% cut in player compensation with the requirement that orchestra staff and management take an equal cut in pay. If officials agree to this decision, the orchestra would stand to save around $5 million over the next two years, more than the $3.1 million reduction demanded by orchestra management. It will be interesting to see how the management responds to this proposal.

I personally feel it is only fair that all involved make a sacrifice to keep this organization afloat.

Full article HERE.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Atlanta Symphony struggles keep and attract top musicians

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has been having trouble attracting and retaining the high-level musicians that are necessary for the orchestra to keep its status as one of the nation's finest.

A proposed 25% pay cut, in addition to prior concessions, is prompting current members of the orchestra to seek out other opportunities and has caused a major drop in audition turnouts with a recent audition only showing 1/3 of the usual turnout, with no winner chosen.

To make matters worse, the proposed pay cut is being forced upon the musicians by symphony executives who are threatening to take away the musicians' health and dental insurance if they don't agree to the new measure by August 25th.

Full article available via Arts Journal HERE.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Some beautiful photos of the new Buffet "Divine" Clarinet

Below are some beautiful photos taken from, one of the few places the Divine is available. Their website is HERE and it's being sold for around $6800. (5522€)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Metronome+ Lite: Free download of incredible metronome app

Metronome+, the sleek, simple, and feature-packed metronome app (which is also my personal favorite) is now being offered up in a FREE "lite" version. This version contains many features including some of the loudest sounds on an Apple device (for loud rehearsals), a tempo scroll wheel, a range of 30-300 bpm, and a clear pendulum animation.

You can also get the full version for $1.99 (a steal!) which includes even more features such as the ability to run the metronome in the background (multitasking), do tap-tempo, as well as customizable sounds, beat patterns, and accents. Metronome+ is also constantly being updated with new features and if you own the app all updates are FREE. I have been using this app for a long time now and I can say that it is the best I have used. I really recommend giving it a try!

Download the "lite" version HERE.

Download the full version HERE.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Philadelphia Orchestra emerges from bankruptcy

The music community was shocked when the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the "big five" declared bankruptcy, owing some $100m in debts, claims, and liabilities. Now, that same orchestra has reorganized, settled its debts, and, hopefully, found a plan that will keep it from financial ruin in the future. The restructuring has included lowering salaries, cutting musicians, and making changes to pension plans.

Read the full article HERE.

McGill@Menlo: "leaving a listener wanting more"

Music@Menlo Festival Photo: Tristan Cook / SF
Anthony McGill, a long time performer at San Fransico's Music@Menlo festival, received a glowing review from the San Francisco Gate of his performance of the Mozart Clarinet Quintet in collaboration with the Pacifica Quartet. Music critic, Joshua Kosman, said Mr. McGill has "a star quality that stands out in anything he does. He boasts a buttery, elegant tone that imparted a glossy sheen to the melodies of the first movement, and he leavened that with a crisp rhythmic bite in the variation set that constitutes the quintet's finale." He also said that "the only downside of Sunday's excellent concert... was that it didn't include enough of McGill's sumptuous artistry."

Read the full review HERE

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