In Tuesday’s (7/14) News & Observer (Charlotte, North Carolina), Rob Christensen reports, “The North Carolina Symphony, faced with an unprecedented $4 million debt, plans to slash the salaries of its musicians and its star conductor, Grant Llewellyn. The symphony, one of the state’s top cultural institutions, plans to cut musicians’ compensation 17 percent this fiscal year as it tries to find ways to deal with a slumping economy. Llewellyn, the music director, has agreed to a 10 percent salary cut. … The move comes on top of efforts made in the spring in which the symphony canceled the appearance of major artists and conductors, cut back the number of pops concerts, canceled a long-planned European tour, and scrapped plans for larger orchestral works that require the hiring of extra musicians. … For the fiscal year that ended June 30, the N.C. Symphony lost $2.1 million and now has a total of $4 million in debt, [President and CEO David Chambliss] Worters said. He said the symphony has suffered from both a decline in donations and a drop in ticket sales during the recession. As a result, the symphony budget is being cut from $14.1 million last year to $11.9 million for the current year.”

Photo: Music Director Grant Lewellyn conducting the North Carolina Symphony
Credit: Michael Zirkle

Posted July 15, 2009