PSO to report 2011-12 deficit

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The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra will report an operating deficit at today's annual meeting but also will announce plans to balance its budget by 2014-15.

PSO president James Wilkinson said the PSO ended its fiscal year Aug. 31 with an approximately $3.5 million deficit for 2011-12, more than double the $1.3 million shortfall the previous season. Many American orchestras are struggling this year, including the Minnesota Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra.

But Mr. Wilkinson is optimistic that the PSO is on the right path. "There is a sense of optimism because we are committed to the plan and have the support of the board and staff to make changes. We are looking forward to working with the orchestra."

The budget has remained at roughly $31 million the past three seasons.

Revenue from total ticket sales increased from $6.6 million in 2010-11 to $7.6 million in 2011-12, based on usage of a new demand-based pricing policy and several successful special concerts with Yo-Yo Ma, Celtic Woman, Trey Anastasio, Ben Folds and "The Legend of Zelda." But there was a reduction in ticket sales for the subscription classical series, from 93,515 in the previous season to 92,593, with 8,605 subscribers in 2011-12.

businessnews - music

Post-Gazette classical music critic Andrew Druckenbrod: adruckenbrod@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1750. He blogs at www.post-gazette.com/classicalmusings.


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