Baltimore Symphony boss: New money is not enough

A message from the man who is trying to shrink his orchestra to a 40-week contract.

 

A Message from President and CEO Peter Kjome

March 26, 2019

We would like to share news about proposed legislation to help support the Baltimore Symphony as contract negotiations continue with our musicians.

You may have heard that legislation has been proposed in the General Assembly of Maryland to provide additional assistance for the BSO. We are grateful for the leadership of House Appropriations Chair Maggie McIntosh, Senate Budget & Taxation Chair Nancy King, and each of the co-sponsors of the proposed legislation, along with leaders in both the House and Senate. Following significant advocacy by friends of the BSO and our musicians, we have worked collaboratively in communicating with key leaders in Annapolis during this process. The proposed legislation provides financial support of $1.6 million annually in each of the next two years. This assistance would be in addition to the very generous support the BSO receives through the Maryland State Arts Council as part of the State’s annual budget. The legislation also authorizes a work group to help further examine our business model.

We are grateful for this proposed support but know that this alone is not sufficient to address our significant financial challenges. We continue to work with great urgency to raise additional funds. Comparing the BSO’s endowment to other orchestras has reinforced the need to significantly grow the endowment supporting operations from $60 million to $100 million. It is vital that our ongoing endowment campaign continues to be successful.

We appreciate that our musicians are continuing to perform concerts under the terms of our previous contract as negotiations continue. Please visit BSOMusic.org/updates for periodic updates, including a recent Baltimore Business Journal article.

On behalf of our Board of Directors, musicians, and staff, we are grateful for your steadfast support as we work to ensure that Baltimore, Montgomery County, and the State of Maryland sustain Maryland’s largest arts organization, enriching lives with a rich array of concerts and educational programs.

Sincerely,

Peter Kjome
President and CEO

Testimony from the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in Support of House Bill 1404

March 7, 2019

The Board of Directors, musicians, and staff of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra greatly appreciate the remarkable support of the State of Maryland for the BSO and our entire arts community.

Read more

 

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  • Perhaps they should concentrate on raising smaller sums from many people. There’s lots of money in the area, just not enough interest. An Entartete Musik series would raise money from the Jewish community.

    • Sadly, the next season of the Baltimore Symphony is the weakest in memory. I still subscribed to support the musicians but it was not an instantaneous decision.

  • Baltimore Symphony Orchestra relies mostly on individual donations; because there aren’t many major corporations in town any more. When I lived there – I was very very familiar with their fundraising efforts and I am just a regular citizen. There has to be another way! And it’s a real shame that Under Armour doesn’t seem to be on their list of donors. They should definitely give to the BSO!

    • If you think about the demographics and psychographics of UnderArmour customers, it’s no surprise at all that the company isn’t a major donor to the BSO. (The same goes for the corporate leadership of that particular company.)

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