Honolulu Symphony files for bankruptcy, may downsize

Posted on: December 21, 2009

In Saturday’s (December 19) Honolulu Advertiser, Rick Daysog reports on the Honolulu Symphony’s financial situation: “More than a month after announcing plans to seek bankruptcy protection, the Honolulu Symphony made it official: It filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in federal court yesterday. The 109-year-old symphony, which bills itself as the oldest American orchestra west of the Rockies, said it needs to enter bankruptcy to cut its debt and reduce its payroll by as much as half. ‘It’s an unfortunate day but a necessary one for the organization,’ said Majken Mechling, the symphony’s executive director. ‘For us to continue with business as usual does not bode well for our musicians and the community.’ In its filing yesterday, the symphony listed assets of $100,000 to $500,000 and debts of $1 million to $10 million to 200 to 1,000 creditors. … Last month, the symphony announced plans to file for reorganization and canceled all of its November and December concerts, putting its 64 full-time orchestra members out of work. The nonprofit organization also terminated all but three of its 22 administrative workers. In recent years, the symphony has struggled to meet its $4.1 million annual payroll.”

Posted December 21, 2009