The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on Thursday named Cleveland Orchestra general manager Jennifer Barlament as its executive director, marking another step in the organization's recovery from labor strife last year, writes The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The move marks a return for Ms. Barlament, a graduate of Atlanta's Emory University who has also had executive roles with orchestras in Kalamazoo, Mich., and Omaha, Neb.
She will take office in January, replacing Terry Neal, a former Coca-Cola executive who has served as the Atlanta ensemble's interim leader since Stanley Romanstein stepped down as CEO last September during a lockout of musicians. The nine-week labor battle ended in November with players accepting a new four-year contract, and after more than decade a deficits the orchestra reported a budget surplus for the 2014-15 season.
Another classical ensemble rebounding from a bruising lockout, the Minnesota Orchestra, has also emerged from the red, according to the Star Tribune. The orchestra, which launches its 2015-16 program this weekend, announced Thursday that unaudited results from the previous season show a balanced budget.
The fiscal numbers continue a run of positive signs for the orchestra, which shut down for 16 months in 2012-14 as management and musicians wrangled over a new contract. The players, who took pay cuts as part of the January 2014 deal that ended the lockout, signed a new contract in May that restores some of the reduction.