For Milwaukee Symphony, an upbeat end to fiscal 2015

Posted on: January 4, 2016

“Two years after one of the city’s signature cultural institutions conducted an emergency fundraising campaign just to keep playing, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is ending 2015 on three notes of good cheer,” writes Jim Higgins in Tuesday’s (12/22) Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee). “The symphony has a balanced operating budget, a new labor agreement with its musicians and a six-year contract extension for its president, Mark Niehaus. The orchestra’s size—68 musicians—will remain the same. And revenue from ticket sales was up $340,000 from last fiscal year’s total…. For the fiscal year that ended on Aug. 31, the MSO reported operating revenue of $16,590,000 against operating expenses of $16,549,000, generating a surplus of $41,000. The symphony reported ticket sales income of $3,099,000, an increase of $340,000 from last season…. Orchestra management and musicians quietly negotiated a one-year extension of their existing contract through Aug. 31, 2016. The MSO’s years of labor peace can be credited to the presence of musicians on key financial committees, Niehaus said.… Niehaus also will provide organizational continuity while the MSO seeks a successor to music director Edo de Waart, who will leave that post after the 2016-17 season.”

Posted January 4, 2016