Minnesota Orchestra reports record deficit of $6 million

  • Article by: GRAYDON ROYCE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 6, 2012 - 8:02 PM

The $6 million shortfall is for fiscal 2012, which ended Aug. 31. So it doesn't take into account the musician lockout that began Oct. 1.

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la55122Dec. 6, 12 2:47 PM

So the high rollers that manage the endowment lost money due to the economy. "So lets cut the musicians pay because they must be blame" (sarcasm off). The board seems to have a problem in taking responsibility for not anticipating the likelihood of a financial downturn. Everybody I know saw it coming in early 2008. The endowment should have been in conservative, safe (low yield) investments. If they needed a PR firm to massage the numbers, they are effectively admitting culpability. They have collectively destroyed a legacy that deserves a better fate.

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freedom111Dec. 6, 12 3:19 PM

Isn't it the norm now to blame Wall Street.

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immigroovyDec. 6, 12 3:36 PM

You can always try to blame Pawlenty and Bush.

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svenny1Dec. 6, 12 4:24 PM

Apparently the answer to the budget problems of the MN Orchestra was to build a new "music palace", akin to the sports palaces we built for the Twins and will be building for the Vikings. Will we see the same results - a poorer group of talent? I hope not....

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deerguyDec. 6, 12 4:26 PM

This is such a joke! They can get all these donations to make this place a castle for the rich but they forgot they have to pay the people who play there! Musicians probably could take a little drop then get rid of all middlemen/managers/other people who also get paid!

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bej1bej1Dec. 6, 12 4:28 PM

Perhaps attendance would increase if the Orchestra played more of the classics by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, etc. and not so much of the music by unknown modern composers.

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degammaDec. 6, 12 5:00 PM

This has nothing to do with attendance it has to do with mismanagement. Blaming the musicians is totally inappropriate; the directors have trashed a 100 year old icon because they are feckless at managing a cultural icon.

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craigaveryDec. 6, 12 6:30 PM

Any business or organization must balance income and expenses or perish. We are faced with denial of this at every turn but eventually reality will set in. Balance or perish...the harsh reality of sustainable economic life.

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mchristiDec. 6, 12 6:49 PM

A better explanation of the total investment portfolio would be helpful. $137 million in total investments and less than half of that is in the "permanent endowment." What about the other $78 million? How does the figure of 5.6% draw on the endowment get figured. $4.47 million is much less than 5.6% of that total investment portfolio. It looks like the orchestra is playing with numbers as an excuse to gut musician pay and radically change how the orchestra functions rather than use the resources it actually has, even if they were to maintain a 5% limit on draws from those funds, they should have a couple of million more to fund the orchestra's operations. Explanations and much greater transparency is owed both the musicians and the public by the orchestra management and board.

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johngageDec. 6, 12 7:45 PM

Excuse me but their morale would be lowered because their salary went from $139K/year to $84K/year. What would the public say if athletes complained that their morale be lowered if facing the same situation with the same dollar amount. My guess is that most would say 'tough hop'.

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