Palm Beach Symphony facing transition period

Posted on: August 15, 2011

“Palm Beach Symphony is doing some soul searching these days,” writes Jan Sjostrom in Sunday’s (8/14) Palm Beach Daily News (Florida). “Its chief administrator, Ray Robinson, is retiring, and the group is seeking a new general manager. In addition, it has hired a consultant to help craft a plan to expand its audience and financial support. A better road map is necessary because the 37-year-old organization, which performs mainly in Palm Beach, has been posting consistent deficits. The symphony, which enjoyed a big boost when it received a $1 million donation from Dora Bak in 2002, has been making ends meet by chipping into its reserves. Those inroads, and the weak economy, exacted a toll on the group’s financial cushion. Its net assets shrank from more than $1.3 million in 2006 to $576,682 in 2010, according to federal tax returns. The erosion continued despite programming strides made under Robinson’s direction, the hiring of a dynamic young music director and consistently positive reviews. … Part of consultants Charlotte Pelton & Associates’ assignment is to survey Palm Beach Symphony’s existing and potential audience to gauge its current position and determine how it might tailor its services to better fit community needs. … ‘Our problems are not severe,’ board chairman Leslie Rose said. ‘I think we’ll solve them and continue to survive.’ ”

Posted August 15, 2011