Post-strike, Pittsburgh Symphony works to address long-term budget concerns

Posted on: December 6, 2016

“A shortfall of more than $1.5 million looms for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, even as its musicians resume performances this weekend,” writes Mark Kanny in Friday’s (12/2) Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “The symphony, which settled a 55-day strike Nov. 23, hasn’t had a balanced budget since the 2007-08 season. It posted a $1.5 million deficit for the 2015-16 season and had projected a similar shortfall for the current season, but that was before the strike [during which] it lost substantial revenue…. ‘Our finance committee is meeting on Dec. 13 to rebudget for the year and isolate all the strike expenses, but we haven’t gotten there yet,’ said symphony CEO Melia Tourangeau. The symphony recently implemented savings that go beyond a 7.5 percent wage reduction for its musicians. The administrative staff has been restructured, eliminating 10 positions and saving $800,000 annually. Among those to go was Declan McGovern, vice president of orchestra operations and general manager…. Yet all those savings are not nearly enough … according to Tourangeau…. Building the annual fund to a sustainable level is a top priority…. The size of the development department will be increased.… The symphony’s goal is to build the endowment to $200 million [from $122.92 million].”

Posted December 6, 2016