Shocking cost of Philly's bankruptcy ploy

Shocking cost of Philly's bankruptcy ploy


norman lebrecht

July 28, 2011

Peter Dobrin, a determined reporter who’s following the unwinding of the Philadelphia Orchestra, has come up with a shocking stat.

The board has spent – wait for it – $2.4 million so far – on outside consultants who are taking it through the Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

The chief aim of the bankruptcy is to evade pension obligations to players and staff.

The entire exercise stinks to high heaven, and there’s no assurance that the orchestra will survive when it’s over. Deborah Borda, in the Lebrecht Interview this week, made the very strong point that Philly and its board have been stacking up problems for years. “The Board of Directors – these numbers were not a secret – people knew about them – they didn’t take more decisive action years ago.  The management agreed to pension packages that no other orchestra in the country could afford,” she said.  The problems won’t be solved overnight, or by means of oleaginous legal and financial consultants.

Here‘s Peter’s report. Prepare for a sinking heart.


  • Brian says:

    Allowing lawyers to overtake the proceedings of bankruptcy do not give much hope for a labour settlement that
    ensures that orchestra and its musicians are central to any success derived from the court proceedings. The state of US labour relations, irrespective of the present proceedings in Philadelphia, are on the level of Depression era conflict. Lots of luck.