Study of Minnesota Orchestra depicts bleak financial picture

Posted on: September 4, 2013

“Minnesota Orchestra leaders Tuesday conceded that the ongoing dispute with union musicians could cost the orchestra its renowned conductor and prestigious performances at Carnegie Hall,” writes Graydon Royce in Tuesday’s (9/3) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “Richard Davis, chairman of the orchestra’s negotiating team, … board chairman Jon Campbell and CEO Michael Henson gave the bleak assessment on the same day that they released an analysis by AKA | Strategy of New York that said the orchestra may face budget shortfalls even worse than those already cited by management…. In his analysis, AKA | Strategy’s Anthony Knerr wrote that he believes it is ‘unrealistic to think the Orchestra can fund-raise its way out of its current financial difficulties.’ Campbell said Tuesday that a feasibility study commissioned by the orchestra board ‘made it very clear we could not raise another $6 million a year,’ which he said is the figure the board needs to address its deficits…. The board has offered a contract that would cut average compensation by 24 percent, to $102,000 annually. Musicians rejected the proposal in late July, and have not offered a counterproposal. The study noted that [cost cutting] from 2008 to 2013 [failed to] stem growing operating deficits, which reached $8.7 million in fiscal 2012, Knerr stated.”

Posted September 4, 2013