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Philadephia Orchestra, near-bankrupt, hires two new vice-presidents

No sooner had president Alison Vulgamore inked her new $450,000+ contract than she has hired two new veeps to take the work off her shoulders.

Ryan Fleur has been president of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Matthew Loden general manager of the Aspen Festival. I am sure they are very good at their jobs but is this the best time for the Philadelphia Orchestra to boost the office payroll while slashing the players’ pensions?

Read Peter Dobrin, who’s right on the case.

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  1. Robert Fitzpatrick says:

    No mention of their performance bonus clause. They should hire someone named Murphy because POA is certainly testing most of his laws including: the amount of work increases according to the number of people available to do it. Board members love this corporate approach which has little to do with artistic vision and quality. Pray for Yannick!

  2. Lord Voldemort bolsters the troops.

  3. Alex Klein says:

    Seems she is dug into the old model of financial management of orchestras, which brought Philly to its knees in the first place. It would be best to favor not people who could negotiate better salaries for themselves (that is, who demonstrate a keen interest in their own well-being), but who have a history of doing much with little (that is, those who can focus on the best interest of the institution, and through a stronger organization be able to receive a better salary.

  4. Perhaps she should go do some soul searching and spend a time in Los Angeles: they seem to have figured things out. Or Philly could simply clone Deborah Borda. This just isn’t right.

  5. I encourage everyone to look at the bigger picture. If you have been following the story of this unfortunate bankruptcy from the beginning, going on two years now, you would know that the POA’s administrative staff has both been cut in number and received pay cuts over the last several years. I’m speaking of the staff as a whole, not just the CEO. At one point, the staff size was just above 40, which is very small for a top orchestra in the U.S. today.

    Look on their web-site now; it not much bigger. Clearly there is some rebuilding, on the staff side of things, that is happening and let’s hope it is for the better. The LA Phil? I bet they have a MUCH larger staff than Philly. You can argue about Ms. Vulgamore’s salary and benefits and the timing of recent musician concessions, but the fact is that this orchestra is not “administration heavy” and that is the impression one gets from reading this post.

  6. Laurence Glavin says:

    As a person of Irish descent, I feel compelled to stand up for our signal contribution to economic theory. Murphy’s Law states that if anything can go wrong, it will. It’s PARKINSON’S Law that states that work expands to fill the time available for its completion. A corollary of the latter law would indicate that adding additional personnel indeed expands the time available because these people have to do something!

    • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

      Erin go bragh! As Oscar Wilde once said: Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives. I apologize for my lack of research and I hope that my poetic license won’t be revoked. However, I stand by the the notion that some non-profits think that simply by hiring additional staff, they will solve their problems. Concerning the size of POA staff: In addition to the personnel listed on the POA website, there are staff members of the Kimmel Center who handle many of the day-to-day POA activities including, but not limited to, the box office. Let’s hope that these administrative moves will help POA get its act together and prepare to support the new musical adventure which awaits Philadelphia next September with the arrival of Yannick N-S. May the road rise to meet them and may the wind be always at their back…..etc, etc.

  7. Let’s hope that these two new hires are giving room for a few FIRES of the current incompetent staff.

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