The Oregon Symphony reports that it has been awarded a total of $1.45 million in new grants from the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust of Portland, Collins Foundation, and William Randolph Hearst Foundation. In announcing the grants, the Portland-based orchestra emphasized that increased foundation support is a “key element” of its multi-year effort to balance its budget and stabilize its finances. At the orchestra’s annual meeting in October, president Elaine Calder announced that the orchestra had taken steps toward its goal of sustainability that include the use of $7.2 million from the orchestra’s unrestricted funds to eliminate long-term bank debt, and an extension of its contract with musicians with financial concessions expected to save the organization $1.4 million over the two-year length of the agreement. At the October board meeting, Chair Walter E. Weyler announced that the orchestra finished the 2008-09 season with an operating deficit of $519,000, down from $590,000 the prior year. Total box-office revenue for 2008-09 was $6.61 million, a 35 percent increase over the past two seasons.

Posted October 27, 2009