In Thursday’s (4/9) New Mexico Business Weekly, Megan Kamerick reports, “The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, after cutting $200,000 from its budget late last year, has cut three employees from its administrative staff. The remaining 19 staff members have been given a 10 percent reduction in salary, and pension contributions have been suspended. The NMSO board of trustees has taken the unusual step of approving a measure to borrow funds from a limited liability corporation that was created specifically to lend money to the NMSO. Officials hope these latest moves will save about $90,000 in the current fiscal year’s budget. The [Albuquerque] NMSO has also asked to open formal contract negotiations with the union representing the 78 orchestra members currently under contract, the American Federation of Musicians Local 618, to seek a voluntary 10 percent salary reduction for the musicians. … Despite the economy, ticket sales are actually up six to seven perfect over last year, [President and CEO Eric] Meyer added. ‘That’s partly because people are turning to us for solace. Everyone is having such a difficult time,’ he said. ‘They all need release and I’m humbled by the role we can play in the community that way.’ ”

Posted April 10, 2009