In Friday’s (7/31) Baltimore Sun , Tim Smith reports, “In yet another sign of how the recession continues to weaken local arts organizations, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra musicians agreed to a 12.5 percent pay cut Thursday, as management faced its first budget deficit in two years and an endowment fund now off-limits because its value has slipped too low.” Regarding the cuts, Paul Meecham, the BSO’s president and CEO, commented, “Everyone has recognized that this is not a question of how the symphony has been run. It has been caused by the economy. … the board and staff are doing everything we could in a very difficult situation.” The article continues, “The BSO’s immediate future is not in jeopardy. And there are encouraging signs, such as a 26 percent increase in the number of individual donors, although that’s tempered by a 17 percent decrease in the average gift amount. A balanced budget is projected for the 2009-2010 season, thanks in part to concessions the players have made. … In April, BSO musicians offered to give back $1 million in raises and other benefits scheduled under their contract for next season. This week’s new concessions, in wage reductions and furloughs, total $900,000.”

Posted July 31, 2009