Collaborative solutions at Utah Symphony and Opera

Posted on: May 26, 2009

In Monday’s (5/25) Salt Lake Tribune (Utah), David Burger writes, “The Utah Symphony was born in 1940 during the Great Depression as a Works Project Administration group, so its musicians and administrators are determined not to let another economic downturn derail the state’s premiere performing-arts organization. ‘In times of economic crisis, people come together,’ said Melia Tourangeau, president and chief executive of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera. Like all arts groups, US |UO has been pummeled by the recession, but the economics challenges have forged a closer relationship between the … administration and musicians as they partner to slash costs while trying to maintain the programming integrity—in the smallest-sized market in the country with a 52-week professional orchestra. The obstacles, however, are unlike anything the organization ever has faced. … Orchestra leaders held three days of strategic planning meetings earlier this week, coinciding with the completion of an annual audit that reveals the dire nature of US | UO’s epochal predicament. … In April, Tourangeau and Lockhart took a 10 percent salary cut (Tourangeau’s 2008 salary was $200,000; Lockhart’s in 2006 was $285,000), while symphony musicians voted to give back 11.5 percent of their salaries and benefits.” The board has also been stepping up its fund-raising efforts.

Posted May 26, 2009

Photo: Music Director Kieth Lockhart conducts the Utah Symphony
Credi: Utah Symphony