The title of this post is taken from my blogpost about the overstated claim that arts organizations all run a deficit which, as I said, is just not the case. Here is the paragraph:
And the Oregon Symphony isn’t the only organization doing well financially. The Met Opera hit a record-breaking fundraising year and for the first time in seven years has a balanced budget. Despite the modest deficit, which can be attributed partially to Muti’s illness, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has been in the black recently. The LA Phil is holding its own as well. Plenty of mid-sized and smaller organizations are also doing relatively well.
So I listed big name organizations but didn’t specifically list mid-sized and smaller organizations. This piece from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette does a fine job of doing just that. Near the beginning of the piece is stated:
When it comes to assessing the state of American orchestras, the focus invariably centers on the giants of the industry.
The very next paragraph shatters the metric by which we selectively cull from all arts organizations only those with big budgets and using those as the standards of the industry as a whole, by stating:
But most orchestral musicians take their seats on the stages of smaller cities, performing in orchestras not nearly as financially troubled as the big boys, if troubled at all. In fact, about 600 professional orchestras now operate in the United States, according to a new study done at the University of Cincinnati. That would seem to be an astounding figure for an art form many industry experts predicted would be extinct by now.
“The health of the small orchestra is critical to the future of American classical music,” says Larry Tamburri, president of the Pittsburgh Symphony.
“These smaller symphonies serve to bridge the gap between major metropolitan areas and their direct communities,” writes Brandon VanWaeyenberghe in his study, “Musical Chairs.”“A higher percentage of smaller orchestras are operating with balanced budgets than the larger orchestras,” says Henry Fogel, president of the American Symphony Orchestra League. “The bigger orchestra’s cost structure is more rigid; the small orchestras are much more flexible. They can adjust to financial difficulties much more quickly.”
“I’m incredibly optimistic about the future of music,” declares A Far Cry’s Jesse Irons. “It’s silly how much doom and gloom there is in the popular press about the ‘decline of the orchestra.’ I don’t see it, and I’m there on the ground. We get amazing audiences with great reactions, including standing ovations more often than not. There are these kinds of new projects going on everywhere. You might be seeing a changing of the guard in terms of where classical music is going.”