In Tuesday’s (5/4) Australian (Sydney), Matthew Westwood writes, “The sense of musical renewal around Vladimir Ashkenazy’s first year as principal conductor has not saved the Sydney Symphony from a deficit of a little more than $1 million for last year.  The orchestra has cited a downturn in single ticket sales, and unrelieved costs from its 2007 separation from the ABC [Australian Broadcasting Corporation], for the $1,090,477 deficit. Affected by the weakened economy last year, single ticket sales were $593,000 less than those for 2008. … Audiences have responded with enthusiasm to Ashkenazy, indicated by an increase in subscription sales and strong attendance at his concerts, including a festival of Prokofiev’s music at the end of last year. However, they were shy of taking a chance on unfamiliar repertoire. … The cost of divestment from the ABC has been an ongoing drain on symphony orchestras. The transfer of superannuation entitlements and insurance from federal plans has added $480,000 a year to the Sydney Symphony’s expenses.”

Posted May 4, 2010