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The London orchestra that is £1.5 million down

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.

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Comments

  1. Its starting to look like you have something against the LPO judging from recent posts. All orchestras are facing a squeeze at the moment given reductions in Arts Council funding and a very tough environment in which to fundraiser. Together with this the economic situation in Continental Europe is making touring difficult. None of these things is unique to the LPO. The important thing here is that they are still making a small surplus, so I see this as a good news story essentially.

  2. A good comparison would be the Philharmonia, since they are both resident at the South Bank, and have equal ACE funding. What are their numbers? Except the LPO only has to fill its diary for 9 months of the year, because they have Glyndebourne. Still, look on the bright side, the accounts might be wrong. How much did their former finance director steal not so long ago, unnoticed by the MD?

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