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Philadelphia Orchestra filing for bankruptcy

Sep 12th 2019, 10:37 pm
Posted by ashleychar
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(CBS/AP) The world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, long considered one of the best in the nation, 온라인카지노 will be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection - an apparent first in recent history for a major U.S. orchestra.

포커 이기는 법Board chairman Richard Worley said members made a nearly unanimous vote on Saturday to file for reorganization in a federal bankruptcy court in Philadelphia after a "long meeting, thoughtful meeting, emotional meeting."

Pictures: Aretha Franklin, Condoleeza Rice perform with Philadelphia Orchestra

"We're running low on cash, we're running a deficit, and we have to put ourselves in a position to attract investment funds to help us," Worley told reporters.

Allison Vulgamore, president and chief executive officer, also cited a "tremendous decline" in audiences over the past five years.

Officials stressed, however, that concerts would go on as scheduled, including the evening's performance of a Mahler symphony. And they said a revitalization campaign was planned to increase revenues by about two-thirds and bring in new art and audiences.

John Koen, chairman of the members committee, which represents the musicians, said the five musicians at the meeting were the only "no" votes on the 65-member board.

"It was a terrible letdown. I think this is a tragic decision for the orchestra," Said Koen, who has spent almost 44 years with the organization."A big orchestra has never done this before. It's impossible for the musicians not to feel betrayed by the board of directors ... It feels like a vote of no confidence for the future of this orchestra that's been around for 111 years and world famous for 99 of those years at least."

"We're in a state of shock, really," said Richard Woodhams, principal oboe. "I think it's a very, very sad day for culture in the United States and the world."

The orchestra is expected to take in a combined $33 million from this season's ticket sales, fund-raising, endowment income and other revenue, according to its financial records. It will not cover the $46 million in operating costs and its projected deficit is $5 million despite an emergency fund raising effort.

The country's economic woes have taken a toll on nonprofit arts organizations, and smaller orchestras in cities such as Syracuse, N.Y., and Honolulu have filed for bankruptcy in recent years. But Philadelphia's is the first major metropolitan orchestra to do so, said John Bence, spokesman for the League of American Orchestras, citing records his organization has kept dating as far back as 1986.

Jesse Rosen, the orchestra league's president and CEO, said the Philadelphia Orchestra is experiencing the same challenges as other arts organizations in figuring out how to stay viable in the current economy and an era of "on demand" entertainment made possible through technology.

"We've had a belief for a long time that if we're really, really good, and the Philadelphia Orchestra is off-the-charts fantastic ... everything will follow, and really, times have changed and it's not enough anymore," says Rosen.

Philadelphia Orchestra musicians who object to a bankruptcy filing distributed leaflets to the audience before Thursday night's concert, calling such an action "unnecessary" and saying it would have "both an immediate and a long-term devastating impact" on the orchestra. Union officials and others have cited the orchestra's $140 million endowment, but Vulgamore said use of that money was restricted.

"Thank heavens it's there, it's the future we have to live off of," she said. "If we take that money now, then we frankly don't have annual monies to keep going."

In recent years, musicians have received pay cuts totaling millions of dollars, and have uttered concern about the consequence of bankruptcy on their pensions. Worley said that would be worked out in negotiations, but officials want orchestra members to have a "reasonable and respectable pension."

The orchestra's management is seeking a 16-percent pay cut and other concessions from the musicians as part of ongoing contract negotiations.

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