Reporting Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Orchestra, in the midst of bankruptcy, is hitting a responsive chord with donors and ticket sales.
The Orchestra says it has stopped a four-year decline in ticket sales, and paid capacity on tickets sold for the 2010-11 season increased to 77 percent. Also, nearly 20 of the ensemble’s performances from January 2011 through the end of the subscription season reached near sold-out status.
On the fundraising front, the Orchestra has drummed up more than $3.2 million in gifts and pledges from over 2000 donors since filing for reorganization in April.
Meantime, the Chapter 11 case continues in bankruptcy court in Philadelphia. On Thursday, Judge Eric Frank is due to hear lawyers argue over one of the more contentious issues – whether the orchestra’s $120 million endowment should be in play.
The musicians’ union believes it should be tapped if management uses bankruptcy reorganization to withdraw from the current pension plan. Management believes the endowment should remain untouched.
The orchestra was hoping to file a bankruptcy plan in September, hold a confirmation hearing in November, and exit bankruptcy by the end of the year.
Reported by Steve Tawa, KYW Newsradio 1060