Earlier this month, the Columbus Symphony announced that they planned to shut down operations on the first of June, putting paid to the idea of summer picnic pops performances, and leaving next season’s concerts in limbo.
Could the orchestra yet save itself? Today the Columbus Dispatch reported that members of the Columbus Symphony were to announce their plan to work within the orchestra’s management’s proposed US$9.5 million budget while maintaining their current stable of 53 full-time players. No details were provided, and at this writing none has yet been posted on the musicians’ website.
Last week, the orchestra’s shutdown threat prompted the grants committee of the Greater Columbus Arts Council to recommend no funding for the orchestra. President Bryan Knicely said the Council "shouldn’t be giving operational support to an organization that’s not going to be here after June 1." Last year the Columbus Symphony received $261,417 from the Council.
In April, the orchestra’s musicians voted to reject management’s final offer for next season’s contract. It included a 40% salary cut for all 53 full-time musicians. In 2005, the players had agreed to $1.3 million worth of reductions in the length of the season and in benefits.
More background from the New York Times (Note: registration required)