“The Philadelphia Orchestra has received the largest gift in its history: $55 million,” writes Peter Dobrin in Thursday’s (6/6) Philadelphia Inquirer. “The donation, by a couple wishing to remain anonymous, places $50 million into the orchestra’s endowment plus $5 million for general operating costs…. The $50 million boost to the endowment is exactly the scale of gift the orchestra has long sought as the cornerstone of a new endowment campaign. Endowment is money kept in perpetuity, kicking off investment income each year used to offset operating costs…. Orchestra violinist William Polk, chair of the musician members’ committee, said the orchestra’s historically undercapitalized endowment meant that the organization has been ‘punching above our weight,’ and that this new gift ‘feels like some validation of what we feel going on, which is the orchestra being in a good place.’ … The new gift has already been paid to the orchestra, and comes with no conditions for spending it on specific activities. A gift of $50 million to the orchestra’s endowment provides it with an additional $2.75 million each year to augment ticket income and annual giving to cover an operating budget that will be $50 million this year.”

In photo: Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky, Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and Board Chairman Richard B. Worley. Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Orchestra Association.

Posted June 7, 2019