The Louisville Orchestra has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
The body is about 500 thousand dollars in debt and will not be able to meet its payroll for musicians beyond December 15th. Further, orchestra CEO Rob Birman says the ensemble must emerge from bankruptcy with a 5.75 million dollar annual budget. Its current budget is 6.9 million dollars.
The reorganization plan is due April 4th. Birman says he and other administrators will work with the court and musicians union to find a sustainable plan. He says that may include reducing the number of contracted musicians from 71 members to 55.
“You have a core of musicians that are supplemented by extra players as needed,” he says. “That’s a very common model. What we’re seeking is nothing different than trying to be within the average of those orchestras in our budget class from across the country.”
Birman says the staff reduction has already been discussed. A representative for the musicians was unavailable for comment.
Birman says the orchestra’s performances of The Nutcracker will continue at least through the 15th, though they are scheduled through the 19th. He says an agreement must be reached with the musicians if the orchestra season is to continue next year.