Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Louisville Orchestra Passes Milestone

The Louisville Orchestra yesterday announced that they had finally paid off its final 1.3 million dollars in bank debt. The orchestra, which has been in peril of collapsing under increasing debt and dropping revenues, has seen a recent reversal of fortunes.

At the end of fiscal year 2007, which will happen on May 31, the orchestra will actually has a surplus of nearly half a million dollars. Most of that extra cash is coming from supplemental revenue that was provided by the Louisville Fund for the Arts, and that extra income will actually continue for another year through fiscal 2008. This influx of cash will actually allow the orchestra to pay it’s 67 full time players a bonus weeks pay – and considering their recent decreases in pay, it is warranted.

Revenues in fiscal 2007 were up nearly 14 percent, and on June 15 the Orchestra’s administration office will move into the new ArtSpace on Broadway with the Kentucky Opera. New cost reductions and collaborations are expected from the move of the two art groups into the same offices.

This will be the first time in several years that the Orchestra has a somewhat promising short term outlook. Just a few years ago there were fears that the orchestra would be forced to fold it’s operations and the city might be left without a professional music group. At the time, players took a substantial cut in pay, banks stepped up with loans, and the city’s Fund for the Arts promised additional help. The Orchestra was also forced to reduce it’s schedule and play in smaller ensembles to reduce operating costs. Thankfully the future is looking much better at the moment, and it will be in the best interest of the community if they can continue their forward momentum.

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