The Philadelphia Orchestra is the latest and largest orchestra to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The legendary ensemble follows those in Louisville, Syracuse and Honolulu, among others, in seeking court assistance and protection to reorganize finances.
As in Louisville, the musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra opposed the declaration. They’ve suggested ways to preserve musician pay, ensemble size and performance schedules, despite claims from management that cuts are necessary.
“We’re running low on cash, we’re running a deficit,” said board chair Richard Worley. “We have to put ourselves into a position that will attract investment funds that will help us begin the turnaround of this orchestra.”
John Koen doesn’t agree. The chair of the player’s committee says the musicians have offered an employment contract that would save the organization 25 million dollars in three and a half years.
“My committee made a proposal that would be more than enough to prevent this,” said Koen, a cellist in the orchestra. “They should be able to take the contract we offered and say to donors, the musicians are making a sacrifice but are willing to work with us.”