In Friday’s (1/31) Commercial Appeal (Memphis; subscription required), Wayne Risher reports, “The Memphis Symphony Orchestra is in a deep financial hole that can only be filled by radical restructuring or a massive donation. Symphony executives said Thursday they’re depending on $400,000 savings from job and pay cuts and pared-down productions to make it through a May 24 Sunset Symphony to close the 2013-2014 season. But barring an angel donation to replenish a zeroed-out endowment, the orchestra’s next season won’t resemble the current 196-performance slate. ‘The structure of the symphony as we know it today must be changed because the model is no longer viable,’ board chairwoman Gayle Rose said. Officials say donations of $20 million-$25 million would replenish the endowment so the orchestra could operate off the interest each year.… Union leaders informed musicians of the board’s action at the start of Thursday night rehearsal.… The American Federation of Musicians represents about 80 musicians including a core company of 36 artists who are paid $25,635 to $29,893 each a year. ‘We’re fully aware of the situation,’ ” said Chris James, who plays second flute and piccolo and is chairman of the orchestra musicians committee. The orchestra has posted a press release about its situation here.
Posted January 31, 2014