Philadelphia Orchestra Rises from Bankruptcy

Philadelphia Orchestra Rises from Bankruptcy

Philadelphia Orchestra, News, Academy of Music, Music, PhiladelphiaApril 2011 saw Philadelphia’s orchestra file for protective Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and the arts community were stunned. But thanks to a thorough reorganisation plan, the orchestra lives to play again.

Including the loss of ten musicians and a 15% pay cut for the remaining 95, the plan was approved in June this year by a US Bankruptcy Court judge.

Reaching a settlement of $5.49 million, the orchestra had to address debts, claims and liabilities of around $100 million.

In a statement from the Philadelphia Orchestra Association and the subsidiary Academy of Music, CEO Allison Vulgamore said, “We are deeply grateful to all who have championed and supported our Orchestra during this difficult yet necessary process.”

The orchestra will pay $4.25 million in an agreed schedule, with the rest being distributed according to a multi-year plan.

Not only have the symphony orchestra reduced pay and cut musicians, but received a rent break from the Kimmel Center to aid the cause.

Sadly, the Philadelphia Orchestra is not the only one of late to experience financial issues. Many including the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and the New Mexico Symphony have had to close. A running problem being that these organisations rely on the philanthropy of businesses and individuals, far more so than their European counterparts.

They also face problems attracting a younger audience, as Jesse Rosen who runs the League of American Orchestras explains, “There’s now a whole generation which is used to curating its own content – and to getting everything on demand on a laptop or iPad. Old-style classical concerts don’t fit that model.”

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