In Thursday’s (5/9) Australian, Matthew Westwood writes, “Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s return to its home concert hall has been accompanied by a stinging hike in venue hire fees. The MSO will today announce a deficit of $798,816, which management says is due to the disruption of its two-year absence from Hamer Hall. The orchestra has absorbed the loss, but managing director Andre Gremillet has taken issue with Arts Centre Melbourne and the increased charges on the hall. Gremillet says hire fees for rehearsals have increased by 61 per cent between 2010-12, and performance fees will increase by 43 per cent between 2012-14. … In addition, compensation from the state government ceased after the orchestra returned to Hamer Hall. … Gremillet says he will seek a reduction in hall hire charges, as he does not want to pass the cost increase on to ticket-buyers. ‘Not performing at Hamer Hall is not an alternative,’ he says. Arts Centre Melbourne chief executive Judith Isherwood says resident companies such as the MSO enjoy a discounted rate, but fees for Hamer Hall have increased in line with comparable venues.”

Posted May 10, 2013