In Sunday’s (5/17) Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein reports on the broad array of measures the Chicago Symphony Orchestra is taking to address the recession. Among other steps, “Chicago Symphony Orchestra musicians have agreed to a 2.5 percent salary reduction and will donate additional services as part of institution-wide budget cuts designed to save the orchestra an estimated $4 million through the 2010-11 season. The salary cuts are part of a general cost-cutting plan designed to ensure financial stability amid the nation’s economic meltdown. Orchestra players have accepted a pay cut for roughly two years, beginning July 1 and extending to the expiration of their present contract in September 2011. … Most vacancies on the CSO roster will not be filled before September 2011, and the hiring of temporary musicians also will be reduced. … For its part, the administration is cutting back on performance fees for conductors and guest artists. A wage and hiring freeze across all staff levels has been in effect since October and will remain so until the end of next season. Spending is being reduced by nearly 25 percent this season and 50 percent in 2009-10. … ‘These are changes we are making in order to be prudent, not because we are in jeopardy but because we want to be in the strongest position possible a year from now,’ said Deborah Rutter, president of the CSO Association, the orchestra’s governing body.”

Posted May 18, 2009

Photo: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by Bernard Haitink
Courtesy of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra