Friday (6/3) on the New York Times blog Arts Beat, Daniel J. Wakin reports, “The fledgling Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, with few contributions on the horizon and facing rising costs, is suspending operations, its chairman said on Friday. The orchestra, based in New York, was founded in 2004 by Alondra de la Parra, a rising young Mexican conductor, and made a specialty of Latin American music. It toured in Mexico recently in honor of the country’s bicentennial and gave three or four concerts a year in New York. Ms. de la Parra and the orchestra also released a recording of Latin American works last year. ‘The economic environment is so difficult, and we are not a mature organization,’ said the chairman, Martin F. Lewis. ‘We don’t have that solid support base from large sponsors. And so, we felt the ability to raise significant dollars for next year was very much in doubt.’ Contributing to the decision was the prospect of having to pay the musicians higher wages after management began negotiating with the musicians’ union, Local 802. ‘That wasn’t a factor in and of itself that caused the decision,’ Mr. Lewis said.”

Posted June 6, 2011