In Sunday’s (5/29) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin outlines several aspects of a first draft of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s new strategic plan, which “will shrink the number of its subscription concerts 15 percent and cut its artistic budget an equal amount. International touring will go on hiatus unless it can be fully funded—but look for the orchestra to return to its beloved former home, the Academy of Music, for up to three weeks a year. The orchestra’s board aims to recapture its ‘status as the premier nonprofit board in Philadelphia’ and ‘attract and retain the best thinkers and influential members of the community.’ The musicians will branch out into light classics and film scores, exchange white tie and tails for something less ‘stuffy,’ and perform in an environment that is more theatrical and accompanied by extras such as digital program notes and after-concert events. … This is the new Philadelphia Orchestra—wooing big donors, getting audiences back, balancing its budget—envisioned in a five-year strategic plan that was nine months in the making. On Monday, the orchestra board discussed it in full for the first time. The plan promises to continue to evolve, and hinges on a steep central ambition: that the orchestra can raise $160 million to put it into action. … The orchestra board could vote as soon as July on the plan, whose research and preparation were funded with $528,000 in grants from the William Penn Foundation.”

Posted May 31, 2011