Louisville Orchestra Will Pay Musicians On Monday

by Gabe Bullard on January 28, 2011

The Louisville Orchestra has been granted an emergency payment to meet Monday’s payroll.

The orchestra has filed for Chapter 11, but last month a judge ruled that management must honor its contract with the musicians.

Last week, orchestra officials said they did not have enough cash on hand to pay the musicians beyond Monday. Rather than risk legal consequences, management sought to borrow funds from about two endowment accounts which total about $10 million.

In a statement released Friday, the orchestra said the request was granted, and the musicians will be paid with an advance on future earnings from the endowment investments. It’s not clear how much money was granted and how long that money will last. The funds will not only go to payroll, but also to other costs associated with continuing the season. The season continues through mid-May. The musicians’ contract expires two weeks later.

Management has sought to reduce the size and season length of the orchestra. The musicians say a smaller ensemble would not be successful, and have sought to close any budget gaps through increased fundraising efforts.

The musicians will play a concert not affiliated with the orchestra management Saturday at Ballard High School. The event is free, but donations to the players will be accepted.

Here is the official statement released by the orchestra:

Louisville, KY (January 28, 2011)… The Louisville Orchestra announced today that, in deference to the recent ruling of the Bankruptcy Court, it has sought and been granted emergency funding from the “Philharmonic Trust” and the Louisville Orchestra Foundation.  Each exist with independent boards and serve as separate legal entities from the Louisville Orchestra.  This support will enable the Orchestra to fund its next payroll on January 31.

The funding is provided as advances against future seasons’ endowment allocations, and was made possible, in part, due to the sharp rise in investment markets since December.  Issues concerning whether any additional funds can be obtained are continuing to be explored.

Community members who wish to support efforts to sustain live music and the Orchestra’s programs and services are encouraged to make donations exclusively through the Louisville Orchestra’s website (www.LouisvilleOrchestra.org).

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