Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s financial report: solid endowment, growing deficit

Posted on: November 2, 2017

“The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association posted an operating deficit of $1.4 million for fiscal 2017, its seventh consecutive deficit in as many years,” writes John von Rhein in Thursday’s (11/2) Chicago Tribune. “The shortfall was slightly higher than the $1.1 million shortfall that the orchestra’s corporate parent reported the previous year. The financial report, announced at the annual meeting of the CSOA on Wednesday afternoon at Symphony Center, contained no major fluctuations in attendance, contributions or fundraising from results posted over the last several years. Deficit notwithstanding, the numbers suggest the CSO is in solid financial shape relative to other top-tier U.S. orchestras, a fiscal stability that undergirds the considerable artistic achievements of Riccardo Muti, now in his eighth season as music director.… With endowment value increasing to $292 million, total assets of some $500 million and net assets of $267 million, the CSOA has as powerful a buttress against future operating shortfalls.… The renewal rate for CSO main series subscriptions was 90 percent…. Roughly 426,000 people attended CSOA performances and presentations at Symphony Center and other venues in the Chicago metropolitan area last season, which marked the orchestra’s 126th anniversary.”

Posted November 2, 2017