In Sunday’s (3/22) New York Times, Dan Wakin writes, “The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra sailed into this season having left much unpleasantness far in its wake. It moved out of its shabby downtown Newark headquarters into shiny offices nearby, eliminated a passel of debt, and seemed to have put to rest the debacle of a rare-instrument purchase that brought unwanted scrutiny.” However, confronted with a floundering economy, the orchestra has begun cutting costs. “Its president and chief executive, André Gremillet, has instituted measures that are becoming increasingly common at orchestras nationwide. Facing a $2 million deficit on a budget of $14 million this year, Mr. Gremillet in the fall dismissed three administrative staff members and cancelled the orchestra’s two-week June festival. (By contrast, the larger Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra laid off nine staff members and the Philadelphia Orchestra let go of 12 in March.) For next season, Mr. Gremillet has eliminated nine subscription concerts out if this season’s 70. … At the same time, the New Jersey Symphony has a core of loyal patrons and subscribers.” Among the orchestra’s challenges are replacing Music Director Neemi Järvi, who agreed to stay on after this season as artistic advisor.
Posted March 24, 2009