Only two years ago, an anonymous donor gave $1.8 million to plug previous deficit holes; the CSO will now approach more private donors to try and fill the current gap as part of an endowment and capital campaign.
According to the Enquirer, the deficit occurred in large part because payout for the operating budget from the orchestra's $73.1 million endowment was cut to 6% this year; this means the endowment draw will be $2.8 million less than it was five years ago.
Two years ago, the CSO raised ticket prices — and saw a resulting drop in its subscription sales bigger than it had anticipated, according to the paper. The orchestra announced last May, however, that attendance increased slightly for the 2005-06 season, the fifth under music director Paavo J‹rvi, with a 3% increase in subscription sales over the 2004-05 season.
The CSO also negotiated a three-year musicians' contract that froze salaries the first two years, but wages are scheduled to increase 2.4% this year, according to the paper.
The symphony has earned more than $1 million a year from rock and pop music concerts at Riverbend Music Center, which it owns, according to the Enquirer. And it is raising money to match $3 million in state capital funds to build a smaller amphitheater there.