Tuesday, June 23, 2009
UPDATE (3:51 pm): In response to a request for comment on today's layoffs, the BSO released this statement from Managing Director Mark Volpe:
“Like other cultural institutions nationwide, the BSO is facing serious challenges due to this past year’s economic downturn, including a substantial decline in the value of the orchestra’s endowment. In the course of confronting these challenges, the BSO found it necessary to reduce its full time work force by 5.3%. The BSO remains committed to maintaining its financial equilibrium, while pursuing its mission as one of the leading orchestras in the world.”
Another painful day for the culture industry. As Harvard University announced 275 layoffs, across the river, Boston Symphony Orchestra Managing Director Mark Volpe told employees at a full staff meeting that the BSO is laying off 10 staffers: four in the marketing/press department, four in development, and two elsewhere in the organization. According to a staffer who was in the meeting, Volpe said the BSO's board requested the cuts as a result of recent losses in the endowment.
In December, Volpe announced a hiring freeze due to "heightened financial challenges facing the BSO as a result of the global economic crisis" and convened an Operating Budget Review Group to investigate cost-cutting possibilities, the Boston Globe reported at the time.
A meeting for the BSO's Tanglewood staff is expected to be held tomorrow. The BSO's summer season at Tanglewood kicks off July 3.