In Wednesday’s (1/26) Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), Elizabeth Kramer writes, “On Monday, the financially beleaguered Louisville Orchestra will again struggle to meet its payroll under a court order, two months after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The orchestra wants to reinvent itself as a much leaner operation—with fewer musicians, fewer work weeks and an annual operating budget that’s more than a million dollars smaller. While financial challenges are nothing new to the Louisville Orchestra, this year it has plenty of company. Orchestras nationwide are feeling the economic pinch.” Kramer quotes League of American Orchestra President and CEO Jesse Rosen on the causes of some orchestras’ financial struggles. The article also discusses orchestras that successfully managed financial challenges, among them the Colorado Springs Symphony, which ceased operations in 2002: “In late 2003, the Colorado Springs Philharmonic was born. It has roughly same number of musicians as its predecessor, but it had lower administrative costs, including those for staff, promotions and concert production. Today, the musicians are more involved in leadership; there are more musicians on the board of directors … They were heavily involved in a recent strategic planning process. And they make up 50 percent of a current committee searching for a new music director. It’s a partnership that suggests a way forward for Louisville.”

Posted January 27, 2011