Philadelphia Orchestra Musicians Ask Management Not To Approve Bankruptcy Filing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The board of directors of the Philadelphia Orchestra could decide on Saturday whether to file for bankruptcy, and the musicians have been staging quiet protests against the possible move.

Just minutes before their performance on Thursday night, members of the orchestra walked through the Verizon Hall audience to hand out leaflets that stated their case against bankruptcy.

“There’s been no other premiere orchestra that has ever even considered bankruptcy, because of the damage that it would do to the orchestra,” says Dan Fee, a spokesman for the musicians.  “That’s what makes the management and board decision to move forward with this so confounding.”

Fee says that bankruptcy — which could potentially allow orchestra management to get portions of the musicians’ contract invalidated — would make it hard for the orchestra to attract and keep the best musicians and to keep the public confidence.  He says the orchestra should look at other options.

“The musicians have not only offered significant concessions, including wage concessions, but they have also offered to help with fundraising,” he says, “and most of these have just been ignored.”

Thursday night’s concert audience apparently supported the musicians’ position.  As the musicians returned to the stage after handing out their leaflets, the audience erupted into sustained applause.  Many musicians waved their instruments in a show of thanks; one pumped his fist in the air.

The Philadelphia Orchestra Association declined to comment.

Reported by Cherri Gregg, KYW Newsradio 1060

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One Comment

  1. Stephanie Patterson says:

    Sadly, CBS3 is way behind in reporting – the board voted overwhelmingly in favor of bankruptcy. This is the beginning of the end of the last vestige of culture in this city!

  2. bottomline says:

    Just like sports, our entire system of cultural values has been reduced to a business mentality.
    The first real clue this branch of our culture was in decline was when classical radio station WFLN gave up their classical format, without a peep from the city or those assumed to relish classical fare. I guess the Avenue of the Arts, was more important then the music. The only thing missing is commercial breaks after each movement.

    1. TomInPa says:

      If you recall the event it wasn’t WFLN’s idea to leave the classical format, it was the owners who thought they could make more money with another format. There were plenty of ‘peeps’, rather loud ones, from the station and its loyal listeners.

      1. bottomline says:

        It’s a shame, Rendell and the rest of the cities representatives seemed to be oblivious to the loss.
        I cut my teeth on classical music when I was a boy, thanks to WFNL.

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