Rochester Philharmonic hopes to address steep deficit

Posted on: October 2, 2012

In Sunday’s (9/30) Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York), Stuart Low writes, “As it celebrates its 90th anniversary this week, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is sounding a note of discord—an operating deficit that could be more than $700,000. Driving the shortfall are dwindling donations and grants, musician wage increases and lingering effects of the recession. The RPO’s leaders and board are now brainstorming ways to raise money at a turbulent time. … [Music Director Arild] Remmereit and [RPO President and CEO Charles] Owens have clashed on artistic and administrative priorities since Remmereit arrived in Rochester … Owens and [board chairwoman Elizabeth F.] Rice said it was premature to talk about the deficit. The RPO’s finances for the fiscal year ending Aug. 31 won’t be audited until late October.” The article states that musicians and staff “hoped that the administration and board could heal old rifts and focus on finances at a time when the organization urgently needs public support. They pointed to an August survey of musicians by the orchestra’s Artistic Advisory Committee obtained by the Democrat and Chronicle. It focused on Remmeit’s first year and found that orchestra members generally approved of his direction. … The musicians’ contract expired on Aug. 31, and negotiations for a new one are under way.”

Posted October 2, 2012