SPCO reports first budget deficit in a decade

  • Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 4, 2012 - 11:31 PM

It was the first since 2002-03, although it fell in the range of what had been anticipated.

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regionguyDec. 4, 12 4:52 PM

Ticket prices are down, as are corporate contributions, and the orchestra is having to dip into the endowment to meet a deficit, yet "the musicians' immediate concerns do not concern finance"? Well, they better, regardless of what the players think of management. As a patron of both orchestras, I think both sides' priority needs to be how they are going to deal with the current and future state of live classical music in this country and in this metro area.

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binkiemaeDec. 4, 12 5:18 PM

". . . including the layoff of 17 percent of its administrative staff" How about laying off 30% of the administrative staff? 50%? Let's get serious.

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pkbrandonDec. 4, 12 5:46 PM

The question is whether a metropolitan area the size of the Twin Cities can support two (or even one) world class orchestras. It appears that they can't based on the current funding array of tickets and public/private donations. Simply raising ticket prices isn't the solution; basic economics shows that increasing the cost of a good or service reduces the demand for it, which can result in a reduction in total revenue. That was supported by the SPCO's experience when they dropped ticket prices, but showed an overall increase in revenue due to increased contributions from people like me. If a significant number of SPCO musicians can get better paying jobs elsewhere, then either we will have a younger (probably a bit less polished) orchestra or we will have to come up with some sort of public subsidy.

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freedubayDec. 4, 12 6:19 PM

I'd be interested to know how many musicians have left for greener pastures since the lockout? And what cities have they left for and what is their new pay?

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minnexyzDec. 4, 12 7:14 PM

C'mon 1 percenters chip in here and be good patrons of the arts.,

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teddygDec. 4, 12 7:27 PM

Dubes, anecdotally a month ago I heard that, from MO, 1 was already sitting in with the NY Philharmonic and 2 with San Francisco. Temp positions. From what I gather, about 1/4 of MO could could find work with top orchestras in north america immediately. Wish I had more facts for your good question.

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trude003Dec. 4, 12 7:27 PM

We desperately miss the SPCO and are season subscribers. We'd be glad to pay a little more for tickets and we suspect other subscribers would as well. The pricing has gone down substantially over the last few years with no explanation. We wondered if the SPCO organization was so well endowed they could cut ticket prices. Obviously not.

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pkbrandonDec. 4, 12 9:11 PM

The SPCO publicized its rational for cutting its ticket prices: increasing its membership base, which it hoped would result in an increase in total membership. Its subscription forms included suggested donation amounts. As for MO members finding new positions, I know of one who has accepted a permanent position in Europe.

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chablis28Dec. 4, 1211:04 PM

I'm sure the music is great but it's appeal is to a small audience that is not unlike a country club. The answer is to either find a way to attract a much broader audience on a regualr basis or, charge more for tickets or, cut expenses and pay the band and management thier true market value wages. I suspect BOTH the band and the management are overpaid relative to their true market value.

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chablis28Dec. 4, 1211:08 PM

I get that the band members are very gifted' highly trained musicians but, there are also plenty of other gifted workers with degrees from ivy league schools not being paid what they personally believe they're worth either. Market demand decides value and wages more than degrees and credentials do.

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