Pittsburgh Symphony faces increased deficit

Posted on: July 1, 2013

An unbylined report in Sunday’s (6/30) Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reads, “The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s deficit nearly tripled in the last fiscal year, a spike that happens at a time when it must make cuts and raise revenue to balance its budget or risk forfeiting $17 million in grants and gifts. The deficit increased from about $1 million in 2011 to $2.9 million in 2012, according to the symphony. The $17 million consists of $12 million from board Chairman Richard P. Simmons, who declined to comment, and $5 million from the Heinz Endowments. The Simmons gift is contingent on the symphony having three consecutive balanced budgets, and the Heinz grant requires back-to-back balanced budgets by the end of August 2015.… Symphony officials attributed the financial problems to two factors: The recession shrunk the value of the group’s endowment from $130 million in 2008 to $77 million in 2009. It bounced back to about $115 million. In addition, the state cut funding to the symphony from $2.25 million in 2010 to nothing in 2012.  ‘We are looking toward a balanced budget both by increasing earned and contributed revenue and selectively cutting some expenses,’ symphony President and CEO James A. Wilkinson said in an e-mail.”

Posted July 1, 2013