In Wednesday’s (1/20) Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), Anna Reguero reports, “The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra revealed a $1 million challenge to the community at its annual finance meeting this afternoon to try to make up a $776,000 shortfall. The operating deficit is for the fiscal year ranging from Sept. 1, 2008, to Aug. 31, 2009. The reasons, according to RPO officials: a large loss in the endowment, an 11 percent decline in its donor base, a decline in individual giving and foundation grants and lower ticket sales at the end of the year. There were also pledges made that were not paid. The RPO’s deficit is reflective of the ongoing struggles that arts organizations face in the economic recession.” On the positive side, the orchestra experienced increases in ticket and subscription revenue, and increases in corporate and government giving during the summer season. “To address the immediate challenges facing the organization, the RPO’s staff, musicians and conductors took salary and benefit cuts totally $520,000. Artist fees have been renegotiated and the organization pulled back its programming in the current season in response.”

Shown in photo: Eastman Theatre, home of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

Posted January 21, 2010