Louisville Orchestra files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Posted on: December 6, 2010

In Saturday’s (12/4) Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), Elizabeth Kramer writes, “The Louisville Orchestra asked for protection from creditors this morning under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code. In the request, the orchestra asked to break its collective bargaining agreement with its players in the Louisville Federation of Musicians Local 11-637. The move comes just weeks before the orchestra’s 75th anniversary year. Orchestra CEO Robert Birman and board president Chuck Maisch announced the move to the musicians at the beginning of a rehearsal at the Kentucky Center just after 9 a.m. The orchestra states on its website that it is seeking to reduce its costs by about $1 million and move to operate with 55 full-time musicians, to be supplemented by 16 part-time professional musicians that could fill out a 71-musician roster. The musicians previously reported that the administration has asked them to reduce the orchestra’s size from 71 to 55 musicians; the number of annual working weeks from 37 to 31; and the base salary from $34,200 to $28,675. … Birman said that because the orchestra players have been paid through Dec. 15, they are expected to perform all scheduled performances until then. What happens after that date is not clear.”

Posted December 6, 2010