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« Free Reads -- Ron Rosenbaum | Main | Free Reads -- John McWhorter »

October 09, 2002

Orchestras in Crisis

Friedrich --

Robert H. Hughes in The Wall Street Journal (online, but you have to subscribe) reports that big-city symphony orchestras are undergoing a terrible financial crisis. They're really feeling the current business crunch. "Nearly a dozen cities' symphonies are operating six figures or more in the red," Hughes writes. Programming and salaries have been cut, seasons have been shortened, and a few orchestras have closed up shop. All this, despite the fact that attendance grew 16% during the 1990s.

Further interesting facts: income from ticket sales accounts for only 38% of the revenues of the big orchestras. (Other main sources of income: endowments, gifts, government funding.) Classical-CD sales are shrinking. And the number of commercial radio stations devoted to classical has shrunk from 50 to 32 in the last decade.

Best,

Michael

posted by Michael at October 9, 2002




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