Editorial in “Detroit News”: Symphony management can’t concede any more on contract

Posted on: February 2, 2011

On Wednesday (2/2), an opinion piece by the editorial staff of the Detroit News states, “Those in this community who believe the management and board of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra haven’t done enough to end a musicians’ strike that is stretching into its fifth month should take a look at the DSO’s balance sheet. It’s shockingly obvious that the board has already offered far more than is affordable in its bid to restore classical music to Orchestra Hall. The numbers are awful and the strike is making them worse. … The DSO’s operating costs have exceeded revenue over the past five years by somewhere in the neighborhood of $34 million. That shortfall has been covered by depleting the unrestricted endowment—funds intended to provide the organization with a stable financial foundation—from roughly $80 million 10 years ago to $20 million today. Meanwhile, the DSO is in a tug-of-war with the banks holding the $54 million debt incurred in building the Max M. Fisher Music Center. … By late next week, the DSO board likely will make a decision to cancel the remainder of this year’s season, if the strike is not settled. That will be a pivotal event, pushing off the likelihood of an agreement for months, and leaving orchestra officials with even less resources to settle the contract.”

Posted February 2, 2011