In Sunday’s (1/24) Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), Jeffrey Sheban writes, “In its first full season since a 2008 shutdown, the Columbus Symphony is struggling to balance a bare-bones budget. Its leaders insist, however, that the largest performing-arts group in central Ohio is on the mend and won’t end the year with a deficit. … For now, at least, the orchestra is about $1 million short of what it needs to balance an $8.8 million budget for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31. To cover the shortage, Martin Inglis, chairman of the board of trustees, expects to secure funding from sources he declined to name. ‘We have identified $500,000,’ he said, ‘and we’re working on the other half.’ Factors contributing to the shortfall include flagging corporate and foundation support; lackluster subscription sales; and fewer ‘fee-for-service’ engagements amid belt-tightening by central Ohio communities and other arts groups. … [President and CEO Roland] Valliere, 55, has said he wants the Columbus Symphony to be at the forefront of innovation to help expand the audience for classical music. He’s implementing systems to enable patrons to download concert notes, programs and music samples on their cell phones and computers, and to buy music through Apple’s online iTunes store.”

Posted January 25, 2010