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Robert Spano Leads Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's Opening Night, Substitutes Show Consequence of Lockout

By Ian Holubiak i.holubiak@classicalite.com on Nov 17, 2014 11:17 PM EST

In the days following the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra's collective bargaining agreement, the company kicked off the season with a performance of Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 5 and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, led by ASO music director Robert Spano.

But, as Arts Atlanta writer Mark Gresham pointed out, the season opener was more or less slow, stumbling and hard to keep step. In the wake of the lockout, Gresham notes, this is because almost half of the orchestra were substitutes.

Perhaps it's a consequence of the management's indecency in taking this long to come to an agreement with its musicians. Regular tenured players, instead, were obligated to fulfill other temporary engagements made with other orchestras.

Per Arts Atlanta, Spano's attempt to keep the orchestra in fluid motion resulted in a slower tempo than his normal pace.

Of the normal ensemble, 44 percent of the players were substitutes and the remaining 40 were ASO musicians who had not played together in Symphony Hall for 19 weeks.

Nevertheless, the love for the ASO filled the spaces the orchestra could not on opening night. Patrons were more than thrilled to see the return of the internationally renowned ensemble along with Spano--who even blew a kiss to audience.

Congratulations to the ASO and a best of luck to their upcoming programs.

Check out the 70th season opener below.

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TagsAtlanta Symphony Orchestra, Mozart, Violin Concerto No. 5, Beethoven, Symphony No. 9, Robert Spano, Mark Gresham, Arts Atlanta

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