Community steps up to support Memphis Symphony turnaround

Posted on: July 8, 2014

In Sunday’s (7/6) Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee; subscription required), Jennifer Backer writes, “A groundswell of community support has poured cash into the struggling Memphis Symphony Orchestra, sustaining the city’s premier classical music group for the next several years. In late January, symphony officials declared grim finances would likely close the institution. Since then, a call for aid brought in a $2.65 million infusion on top of the regular annual donations.…  ‘The community has responded with resounding clarity that this organization is valuable,’ said Memphis Symphony Orchestra board chairwoman Gayle S. Rose. ‘It’s been a tremendous turnaround but we still have a long way to go.’ … Donors provided $2.65 million, including $450,000 in emergency funds to finish the 2014 season. The $2.2 million will help sustain the orchestra into 2017. … In January 2014, MSO president Roland Valliere publicly announced the symphony had about run out of money.… Valliere, who was hired by the board in the fall to turn around the fortunes of the symphony, chopped staff benefits and salaries.… Salaries were cut for the symphony’s 36 salaried musicians, who agreed to accept a one-year pay reduction.… Symphony officials said the organization will rely on the cash cushion as it restructures and looks for permanent funding sources.”

Posted July 8, 2014