Nashville Symphony debt restructuring could impact musicians

Posted on: March 25, 2013

Thursday (3/21) on The City Paper (Nashville, Tennessee), Steven Hale writes, “The Nashville Symphony Orchestra is headed either to financial restructuring or bankruptcy court after announcing last week that it would not renew a letter of credit that had been supporting around $100 million in debt. What happens next may largely depend on how generous bank lenders are feeling after the symphony essentially decided to default, leaving them with the hefty bag. How the move will affect the symphony’s 85 orchestra musicians is also uncertain, but precedent would suggest they might be bracing for impact. … In 2006, the symphony opened its grand concert hall, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, built by way of $102 million in bonds. That’s the debt the symphony will be defaulting on unless it can strike a deal with lenders. The symphony also suffered millions in losses as a result of the May 2010 flood, one factor, among others, that symphony board Chairman Ed Goodrich and President Alan Valentine were sure to note in their recent letter announcing the decision to patrons. … Representatives with the Nashville Musicians Association, the local musicians union that includes orchestra members, declined to comment because they said the situation is ‘still developing.’ The union is set to begin contract negotiations with symphony management this summer.”

Posted March 25, 2013