Facing "Possible Extinction," the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Goes into Survival Mode

MSO announces staff and orchestra cuts

Dec. 6, 2013
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milwaukee symphony orchestra
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's budget shortfall has been widely publicized, but now the organization is acknowledging just how dire the situation is. In a news release today, the symphony struck an alarmist note in its call for support, saying that it is in danger of "possible extinction if additional pledges cannot be secured to fund the MSO's much more modest, prudent budget and business plan for the future," the BizTimes is reporting.

Of course donations alone won't be enough to rescue the orchestra from this mess; it was over-dependence on donations over outside revenue that helped cause it in the first place, so the symphony also announced a "survival plan," which reduces the orchestra size by 11 percent, scales back its operating budget and slashes nearly 20 percent of its administrative staff.

“This is a critical opportunity to save what decades of effort and investment have created – a fabulous orchestra at a reasonable cost,” wrote MSO board chairman Douglas Hagerman. “We can save the MSO, and we have a plan to do that, but we need a community-wide team effort to support this priceless community asset and ensure it doesn’t become insolvent. Following the lead set by our musicians and other partners, we need everyone to participate in order to avert a tragic loss for the cultural life of our city and our region.”


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