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Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's future 'uncertain', according to audit report

Posted: 12:29 PM, Jul 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-15 14:32:25-04
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BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra announced that a review of their FY18 financial statements show there is uncertainty about the organization's ability to continue operating.

The audit opinion justifies that the recent findings in the report are not only serious and alarming but finances show that BSO will be unable to meet its contributed revenue and earned revenue forecasts while they continue to fight for contract negotiations with the musicians.

BSO's bargaining negotiation proposed in October 2018 suggests a decrease from nine weeks to four weeks of paid vacation for musicians while upholding a comprehensive 52-week benefits schedule for the orchestra. They say the proposed changes would have minimal impact on audiences.

“The audit opinion underscores the continued urgency that we reach an agreement with our musicians as soon as possible. Unfortunately, there has been no meaningful counterproposal from our musicians that addresses the financial issues our organization is facing,” said BSO President and CEO Peter Kjome.

Although the report shows the organization has made an increase in revenue compared to the past three years, in accordance to the guidelines set by the Financial Accounting Standards Board, BSO's financial statements still highlights the uncertainty for the organization.

BSO leaders hope the audit report reinforces the importance of the effort to move the organization to a sustainable business currently and for years to come.

The BSO and Musicians' Association of Metropolitan Baltimore, Local 40-543 plan to team up to discuss negotiations during a meeting with Federal Mediators from the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service on July 17.

Meanwhile, a GoFundMe campaign online has raised nearly $16,000 as of midday Monday to help Baltimore Symphony Musicians financially as they either wait for the contract negotiations to be resolved or for the next concert season to resume next fall.