Louisville Orchestra’s financial challenges

Posted on: November 29, 2010

In Saturday’s (11/27) Louisville Courier (Kentucky), Elizabeth Kramer writes, “Amid new talk of a possible bankruptcy, and with major holiday concerts looming, musicians with The Louisville Orchestra will soon find out if they will still be paid for their work. Tuesday marks the first payday for musicians since the orchestra took an advance from the Fund for the Arts to meet its last payroll in mid-November. Robert Birman, the orchestra’s CEO, would not indicate whether players will receive their next paycheck on that day as planned: ‘We’re looking for ways to get through the month of December. We’re focused at this point on each upcoming payroll.’ Birman also said that the orchestra is considering filing for bankruptcy if it can’t pay its bills.” Orchestra musicians continue to perform holiday concerts and for the Louisville Ballet’s Nutcracker. “Birman said the administration and the board [have] spent the last several weeks focused on raising money. …In recent years, the orchestra has not seen the amount of money in bequests that it had in the past, according to Birman. In addition, the orchestra’s endowment funds are underwater and some corporate sponsors who had indicated support backed out, he said. He said the administration and the board of directors want to define a more sustainable model for conducting business in the long term.”

Posted November 29, 2010