Memphis Symphony receives $1 million to expand community programs

Posted on: March 23, 2015

“The Memphis Symphony Orchestra has received a gift of $1 million to expand its education and outreach programs and thus increase the income of its musicians, who this year experienced deep pay cuts,” writes John Beifuss in Saturday’s (3/21) Commercial Appeal (Memphis, Tenn.) “The donation from the Memphis-based Helen and Jabie Hardin Charitable Trust will consist of two half-million-dollar awards, earmarked for the symphony’s 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. ‘This is an extraordinary gift that we hope will serve as a building block to ensure the orchestra’s success for some time to come,’ said Roland Valliere, symphony president and CEO.… The symphony’s … season was reduced [this season] from 39 to 24 weeks. This resulted in a pay cut of about 38 percent per musician, symphony officials said. The cuts were needed to enable the symphony to reduce its budget to $3.2 million, Valliere said…. The Hardin gift isn’t intended to enable the symphony to expand its concert season, Valliere said, although a small expansion is possible. Instead, the donation enables the performing arts organization to increase its public outreach to schools, libraries and elsewhere, with the money being used to compensate the musicians for their participation in the events.”

Posted March 23, 2015