Pittsburgh Symphony posts $3 million deficit

Posted on: July 19, 2011

In Tuesday’s (7/19) Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Bill Zlatos writes, “Despite getting more sales tax money than any Allegheny County performing arts group for years, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra lost about $3 million in 2009 and 2010. With flat attendance and a walloping cut in state funding, the symphony might have to raise ticket prices to get back in the black, its president and CEO said Monday. ‘My expectation is it’s going to take approximately three years to get back into a balanced budget,’ said Lawrence J. Tamburri. ‘We have to sell more tickets. We have to raise ticket prices. We have to get more individual contributions.’ The group ran a deficit of $2.1 million in fiscal 2010, according to documents submitted to the Allegheny Regional Asset District. The deficit in fiscal 2009 was $954,000. … The biggest factor in the 2010 deficit was a cut in state money, which fell from $2.5 million in 2008-09 to $1 million in 2009-10. … Tamburri said the symphony’s endowment declined and grants from foundations haven’t increased. … Individual giving has shown promise with a 5 percent increase, he said, and a three-year contract with musicians is stabilizing the symphony’s financial future.”

Posted July 19, 2011