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Just in: London orchestra turns in a six-figure deficit

We’ve been reading, over lunch, the accounts of the Philharmonia Orchestra for the years ended 31 March, 2012.

It was not good for the digestion.

The orch, which receives £2,245,000 in Arts Council and other public grants, registered a deficit of £189,824. The year before, it lost £129,499. Pious hopes are express for breakeven by March 2013, ‘despite poor ticket sales in the summer of 2013′.

The Philharmonia gave 116 concerts in the UK and 42 abroad during the year. Its chief conductor is Esa-Pekka Salonen.

The position is not as bleak as that of the London Philharmonic, which lost 15 percent of its business in the last trading year, but the outlook is not getting any brighter. The business model might be in need of an overhaul.

pictured: Salonen with the composer during the Philharmona’s legendary Ligeti cycle. (c) Lebrecht Music&Arts, all rights reserved.

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  1. If I am not mistaken, compared to many orchestras in America (and many that are smaller in size and/or budget than the Philharmonia) a deficit of this size should (all other things being equal) be manageable, when measured against the mult-million deficits or much larger six-figure shortfalls that many on this side of the pond find themselves dealing with. Not an easy task to dig out of any hole in the current climate but, working for one orchestra that has been doing just that, I’d love to trade numbers!

  2. Do we still need the Philharmonia?

    Its original purpose long gone surely

  3. Hmmmm, perhaps Prince Charles could come to the rescue by opening up his pocket book? (I like Charles and all the Royal Family). Just wonder if there is a way they could contribute to the orchestra on a regular basis? I don’t know anything about this. This is an “off-the-cuff” thought that occurred to me. I suppose all other symphony orchestras on the Green Isle would start to request the same, but that woudn’t be such a bad thing, would it?

  4. To be fair, I think the Philharmonia have done some excellent (and not inexpensive) work this year:

  5. Is the source of the problem that not enough people are attending performances?

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