In Friday’s (5/8) Charlotte Observer (North Carolina), Steven Brown writes, “Suffering a critical blow from the recession on top of several years of financial troubles, the Charlotte Symphony is turning to urgent cost-cutting and fundraising in hopes of staying alive. The orchestra this week asked its players to renegotiate the contract governing their pay and benefits. It also hopes to cut administrative costs by about $250,000 through staff layoffs, furloughs and other measures beginning next week, executive director Jonathan Martin said. A message will soon go out to subscribers, donors and others asking them to open their checkbooks.” According to Martin, the orchestra, which has had a deficit each season since 2002-03, will fall about $780,000 short of its expenses of $8.7million. “Nevertheless, Martin sees positive signs. The members of the orchestra’s board of directors recently increased their donations by $300,000 to a total $582,000 for the season—far more than in past years. Season-ticket sales for next season are ahead of where they were at this point in the past three years.”

Posted May 8, 2009