Syracuse Symphony suspends operations due to funding shortage

Posted on: March 30, 2011

In Wednesday’s (3/30) Post-Standard (Syracuse, New York), Melinda Johnson reports, “The Syracuse Symphony Orchestra’s board of trustees voted Tuesday to suspend operations as of Sunday because of a shortage of funds. The decision will bring the 50th anniversary season of the orchestra to an unceremonious end. There were more than 20 Syracuse and regional concerts remaining in the 2010-11 season. The orchestra’s 18 full- and part-time staffers and 61 core and 14 contract musicians will be laid off Monday. However, eight employees will remain to help in the transition, Interim Executive Director Paul Brooks said, although he added that the organization has very little cash to carry out an orderly transition. Brooks said no refunds would be issued to ticket holders, and he said any donations received during the SSO’s public fundraising campaign, ‘Keep the Music Playing’ will not be returned. … He said the SSO was without funds to continue operations because it fell short of its March fundraising goal of $445,000, failed to receive $1.3 million in concessions from the musicians for the 2011-12 season and had $5.5 million debt as the major reasons for the suspension. The SSO has a budget of $6.9 million for 2010-11. … The board will consult with legal counsel to explore its options and will reconvene next week to consider the next steps, Brooks said. Management and musicians also will meet Thursday to continue efforts toward a compromise.”

Posted March 30, 2011