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.