In Friday’s (9/4) Pacific Business News, Randi Petrello reports, “The Honolulu Symphony is getting a $1.8 million advance from the Honolulu Symphony Foundation to pay back wages for its musicians and staff as well as operating expenses. Musicians, conductors and staff have all agreed to an across-the-board 15 percent payroll reduction for the 2009-2010 season, which began this month, in order to reduce operating costs. The Honolulu Symphony Society has been trying since June to solicit donations to erase its $1.9 million budget deficit so it could pay more than 80 musicians and about a dozen staff members. … Symphony board chairman Peter Shaindlin, COO of the Halekulani Corp., told PBN the money is an advance on future annual interest distributions. It will be paid in three installments. The arrangement is contingent upon the appointment of a new executive director, who will be named next week, and the development of a balanced budget and detailed business plan. ‘We are capitalizing on this challenging situation as an opportunity to effect positive, meaningful changes to the way the organization is structured and run,’ said Shaindlin, in a statement. ‘Fundamental improvements in our leadership, structure, operating model, transparency and fiscal management were required, irrespective of the current economic environment.’ ”

Photo: Honolulu Symphony Music Director Andreas Delfs (left) with violist Mark Butin and flutist Claire Starz.

Posted September 4, 2009