It’s not a famous band, nor a big-city trophy, but the closure announcement of the Bellevue Philharmonic in the state of Washington brings to four the number of American symphony orchestras that have gone out of business this season.
Honolulu, New Mexico and Syracuse have been liquidated altogether. Louisville and Philadelphia have filed for bankruptcy protection. And I keep hearing rumours of more to come. At the current conference of the League of American Symphony Orchestras, I’m told, everyone was talking about the crisis and refusing to address the historic causes.
Bellevue, like Syracuse and Honolulu, has been around for half a century. The board cited ‘long-term realities’ for giving up. In other words, there isn’t the audience, the funding base or the civic pride to sustain an orchestra in Bellevue, Wa.
The music director, who will bow out on 4 July, is Michael Miropolsky. See also here.
photo courtesy Eric Linger, all rights reserved