In Saturday’s (9/19) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin reports, “Faced with a dire financial crisis, the leadership of the Philadelphia Orchestra plans to pass the hat among fellow board members for an emergency bridge fund to help carry it through the next two seasons. The proposed goal is $15 million. The orchestra is running a string of large deficits—$3.3 million for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, and a projected $7.5 million for the current year—and has maxed out its line of credit. ‘Unless we, individually and collectively, provide critical financial support in the next several weeks, there is danger that our effort to fix and transform the orchestra will falter,’ incoming board chairman Richard B. Worley wrote in a four-page memo to the board. … In the meantime, the music will continue undiminished. Tomorrow, even with its own finances in disarray, the orchestra will give a concert at the Mann Center to benefit the survivors’ fund of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police lodge. … New chairman Worley and his wife, Leslie Anne Miller, have committed $2 million toward the $15 million bridge fund, and longtime orchestra friend Carole Haas Gravagno has pitched in $1 million.”

Photo of Charles Dutoit and the Philadelphia Orchestra courtesy of Chris Lee and the Philadelphia Orchestra

Posted September 21, 2009