Flexibility helps Atlantic Symphony weather recession

Posted on: March 19, 2010

In Friday’s (3/19) Boston Globe, Dean Inouye writes, “A bit of luck, combined with nimble management, has preserved the Atlantic Symphony Orchestra’s spring concert at Jordan Hall in Boston, as well as the orchestra’s financial health during a recession. When the orchestra was planning its season last summer, it had already slated its spring concert for Duxbury’s Performing Arts Center on March 21, said Managing Director Nina Wellford. Jordan Hall offered March 20, enabling the orchestra to piggyback two concerts, which will both feature Schumann’s Symphony No. 2.” The orchestra is based in Hingham, Massachusetts. “During tough economic times—when sagging donations can’t cover the high fixed costs and long-term commitments of larger ensembles—it pays to be small, said Judith Kurnick, [League of American Orchestras] vice president for strategic communications. Based on anecdotal evidence, smaller orchestras ‘are actually doing relatively well,’ Kurnich said this week. ‘They have a great deal of flexibility in adjusting to changes in economic conditions. They also have deep roots in the community, and members of the orchestra are often very connected to the people who support them.’ The Atlantic Symphony hasn’t been immune to fluctuations in donations, Wellford said, but ‘we expect to end the year whole, which is exciting.’ ”

Posted March 19, 2010