Sunday, November 28, 2010

Louisville Orchestra Heading for Bankruptcy

The Louisville Orchestra are on the verge of bankruptcy and may not make payroll on Tuesday. At the same time, administration is negotiating with the musicians on a new contract.

CEO Robert Birman says, "The musicians aren't a problem; they're an expense we always agreed we would have."

You would assume, hearing this, that Birman and his crew know that they can't ask the musicians to sacrifice more than they have. But that's not the case. Management is asking for base pay to drop from an already measly $34,200 to just under $29,000. They also want to lay off 16 musicians.

Birman also had this to say:
This orchestra has to have the discipline and the honesty to live within its means and almost to a person the community is saying we will not continue to just simply bear out this orchestra. They've got to get serious about coming together and finding a sustainable platform.
I'm not sure who the "they" are in this quotation, but it can't be the musicians. Even to think of the players--who really are the orchestra--as a potential "problem" and an "expense" shows what the real issue is.

Read more in today's Louisville Courier-Journal.