Budget news at Milwaukee Symphony

Posted on: October 9, 2009

In Thursday’s (10/8) Milwaukee Business Journal, David Schuyler writes, “The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra said it expects to report an operating budget deficit of $344,000 for the 2008-2009 season because of a drop in contributed income. The deficit is less than the $500,000 deficit the MSO forecast for the year in January, when the symphony implemented a series of cost-cutting actions designed to address the shortfall. Nonetheless, for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, the MSO will actually report a cash surplus because of $620,000 in debt reduction contributions that can’t be counted as operating income, said Milwaukee Symphony president and executive director Mark Hanson. The operating deficit projection excludes those contributions, which helped reduce the MSO’s accumulated debt to just under $5 million. Total operating expenses for the year were $17.34 million, Hanson said. That’s up from $16.85 million in fiscal 2008. The increase was largely driven by the MSO’s 50th anniversary year—the last for former music director Andreas Delfs—in 2008-2009, which included several special gala concerts that drove up the number of performances. … single ticket sales increased 2 percent and subscription revenue increased 6.5 percent. … The symphony also raised $2 million for its endowment fund during the year, which is a significant increase over recent years, [Hanson] said.”

Photo of Mark Hanson by Erol Reyal

Posted October 9, 2009