Friday, October 4, 2013

When Good News Is Bad News: St. Louis Symphony

The St. Louis Symphony is touting the financial results of its last fiscal year as good news. Apparently they had raised $25.5 million in operating revenue--and suffered only a $2.62 million deficit (covered through separate fundraising). And it was their smallest deficit since 2005.

Glad to see that things are looking up, but one season with a small, manageable deficit does not erase history, nor does it guarantee success in the future. The orchestra has been running large deficits for almost a decade every year, resulting in debt that can constrain the orchestra as in plans its upcoming seasons.