Philadelphia Orchestra files for bankruptcy

Posted on: April 18, 2011

In an Associated Press article late Saturday (4/16) published in publications nationwide, Ron Todt reports, “The world-renowned Philadelphia Orchestra, long considered one of the best in the nation, will be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection—an apparent first in recent history for a major U.S. orchestra. Board chairman Richard Worley said members made a nearly unanimous vote Saturday to file for reorganization in a federal bankruptcy court in Philadelphia … ‘We’re running low on cash, we’re running a deficit, and we have to put ourselves in a position to attached investment funds to help us,’ Worley told reporters. Allison Vulgamore, president and chief executive officer, also cited a ‘tremendous decline’ in audiences over the past five years. Officials stressed, however, that concerts would go on as scheduled … John Koen, chairman of the members committee, which represents the musicians, said the five musicians at the meeting were the only ‘no’ votes on the 65-member board. … Jesse Rosen, the [League of American Orchestras] president and CEO, said the Philadelphia Orchestra is experiencing the same challenges as other arts organizations in figuring out how to stay viable in the current economy and an era of ‘on demand’ entertainment made possible through technology. ‘We’ve had a belief for a long time that if we’re really, really good, and the Philadelphia Orchestra is off-the-charts fantastic … everything will follow, and really, times have changed and it’s not enough anymore,’ Rosen said.”

Posted April 18, 2011