“Where paying the bills is concerned, the Grand Rapids Symphony is having the same year everyone else is having,” writes Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk in Friday’s (5/8) Grand Rapids Press (Michigan). When the stock market slumped last fall, nearly $600,000 in revenue expected from the orchestra’s endowment fund evaporated. Some $790,000 was budgeted for the 2008-09 season, but only about $200,000 in dividends and interest were realized from the endowment fund, valued at just over $10 million on Dec. 31. That was the size of the task at hand presented at Thursday’s annual meeting of the Grand Rapids Symphony Society. … Eight months into the current fiscal year, ticket revenue this season is up 6 percent, and annual fund contributions are up 2 percent from this time last year. Yet both are below budgetary goals set prior to the season’s start. ‘Both of those numbers are behind plan, but both are very encouraging in this economy,’ said [president and CEO Peter] Kjome, who was appointed president in September. … Negotiations continue on a new contract between management and the orchestra’s musicians, represented by Local 56 of the American Federation of Musicians. Their current one-year collective bargaining agreement expires Aug. 31.”

Posted May 8, 2009