In Saturday’s (6/6) Los Angeles Times, Mike Boehm writes, “A ‘recovery plan’ that the Pasadena Symphony Assn. announced Thursday aims to fill its financial hole by fall 2010. Among the strategies: using popular composers and titles to boost revenue for classical concerts at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, cutting salaries for the organization’s staff and two music directors, reducing the number of performances in the coming Pasadena Pops season from 12 to eight, and switching the pops venue in 2010 from Descanso Gardens in La Cañada Flintridge to a grassy field outside the Rose Bowl that will accommodate larger audiences. If all goes well, says chief executive Paul Jan Zdunek, the organization will end next season with a balanced $3.2 million budget, while gradually paying off $800,000 in debt. The plan calls for leaving the $5 million endowment untouched, so it can potentially grow and be held in reserve to meet specific future needs.” Music Director Jorge Mester, Pops Music Director Rachael Worby, and Zdunek all took 10% pay cuts effective May 1, while all other full-time staff took 5% cuts. “Contract negotiations with the orchestras’ musicians are expected to begin soon.” Pasadena POPS performed a free concert Sunday (6/7) on the steps of City Hall.

Posted June 8, 2009