In Saturday’s (11/7) Honolulu Advertiser, Rick Daysog writes, “Citing mounting debts and lackluster revenues, the Honolulu Symphony said it will file for bankruptcy protection and may lay off half of its musicians. The 109-year-old symphony, which bills itself as the oldest American orchestra west of the Rockies, said it will cancel all of its November and December concerts and made no guarantees that the rest of its 2009-10 season would go on. … The symphony is just the latest in a string of high-profile bankruptcies to hit the local economy. Over the past 18 months, the state’s largest phone company, Hawaiian Telcom Inc., local retailer Hilo Hattie and Hawaii Medical Center have filed for bankruptcy reorganization.” Recently appointed Executive Director Majken Mechling “said the symphony has accumulated a debt of more than $1 million and has struggled in recent years to meet its $4.1 million-a-year payroll. If the symphony resumes its 2009-10 season next year, it will be a scaled-down version. … In the worst case, up to half of the symphony’s musicians could be laid off. Mechling said that all but six of the symphony’s 22 administrative staff have been laid off in recent days.”

Posted November 9, 2009