The New Jersey Symphony and Music Director Xian Zhang.

In Wednesday’s (8/30) Jersey), Jackie Roman writes, “The New Jersey Symphony announced … it was making the ‘painful decision’ to consolidate its classical series concert weekends for the upcoming 2023-24 season and reduce its administrative staff by 15.4% in an effort to reduce costs. Additionally, current administrative employees will be required to take furloughs and senior leadership will take salary reductions. Musicians, who recently signed a collective bargaining agreement, will not be impacted … ‘Our colleagues across the arts sector have all been feeling pain as we emerge from the pandemic,’ President and CEO Gabriel van Aalst said in a press release. ‘The New Jersey Symphony is, unfortunately, not immune from the impact of both recent cost increases of almost 30% and audience numbers that are only 75% of our pre-pandemic seasons.’ Aalst said donations and an increase in state funding cannot fully cover the deficits. ‘With an already fragile business model, we are compelled to adapt to a new, more sustainable future,’ Aalst said. Although special concerts, including film concerts, have performed well, the orchestra … said audiences for the Symphony’s classical concert series have been slow to return…. The consolidation is estimated to result in $650,000 savings … The orchestra … celebrated its 100th birthday last year.”