Atlanta Symphony president resigns as pay talks continue

Terry Neal
Terry Neal

Stanley Romanstein has resigned as the president and CEO of the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, citing that his leadership would be an “impediment” to reaching a new labor agreement with the symphony’s musicians. The ASO has already cancelled part of the 2014-15 season due to the ongoing dispute.

According to a media release, the board has appointed Terry Neal, a current ASO Board member and a retired executive of The Coca-Cola Company, to serve as president of the ASO on an interim basis. Neal will manage the day-to-day operations of the ASO until a permanent replacement can be found.

Virginia Hepner, president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, said that Romanstein’s resignation does not change the financial challenges facing the ASO nor signal any shift in the key issues being addressed in the collective bargaining agreement process.

“The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is a treasured part of our community,” Ms. Hepner said. “We want to make sure it can continue to flourish in the future. To do that, we need to find ways to broaden our base of patrons and supporters and address the deficits we’ve had for 12 consecutive years. All of us at the Arts Center are committed to working with the musicians to find a solution.”

The previous collective bargaining agreement between the ASO and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players Association expired Sept. 6. Salary cuts, health benefits and the potential downsizing of the orchestra are main concerns of the musicians.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley is the editor of Atlanta Intown.