On sleepless nights and during England football matches, our nerves are often soothed by reading orchestral end-of-year accounts. Usually, they are uplifting tales of progress on all fronts, creative and commercial, with deathless triumphs listed in both columns.
Not so the newly-posted London Philharmonic Orchestra report for the year ended 31 August 2011.
It reveals a surplus for the year of £273,405 (as against £457,517 the previous year) but the red-light figures are a drop in the company’s incoming reasources – its earnings – from £10,557, 977 to just £9,045,646.
That is a huge setback, and one which the company is evidently struggling to address. The directors report that significant reductions have been made in expenditure but that ‘there is limited scope for further savings without significantly compromising the Orchestra’s work.’
This looks like an orchestra that is dangerously in need of fresh thinking.