Philadelphia Orchestra cuts 20 percent of staff

Posted on: March 12, 2009

In Thursday’s (3/12) Philadelphia Inquirer, Peter Dobrin reports, “In what is only the first step in averting or minimizing a deficit this season, the Philadelphia Orchestra Association yesterday shed 20 percent of its administrative staff and said other cost-cutting moves were on the way. Twelve staffers were let go, and six other positions will go unfilled, leaving the orchestra with 72 administrators. … Remaining staff members earning more than $50,000 annually will take a 10 percent pay cut for the portion of salary above $50,000, and vice presidents will take additional compensation reductions. … The orchestra recently celebrated surpassing by $5 million the goal of its $125 million endowment drive, for a total raised of $130,078,771. The boost was to have ensured the fiscal health of the organization, but, in a cruel bit of timing, the goal was reached as portfolio values were plunging. The market value of the orchestra’s endowment was $117 million as of Jan. 31, down 30.73 percent from the same date a year earlier … Ticket revenue is 14 percent lower than at the same time last year. Corporate support is unchanged, but individual giving is down 15 percent.”
Posted March 12, 2009