The deficit was down from a shortfall of $1.5 million in 2003-04 and in line with a strategic plan adopted a year ago. Under the plan, the orchestra would run a smaller deficit in 2005-06 and a balanced budget in 2006-07.
The orchestra reported that last season it reduced expenses by $2 million, in part by freezing salaries; boosted ticket income by $100,000; and raised $11 million.
"With one year completed, and being well into the second year of our strategic plan now, we are seeing a sustainable financial model emerge that will bring us to a balance in two years," chairman Ronald E. Lund said. "The key initiatives in the first year of the strategic plan were to stabilize and grow revenue and reduce core operating expenses. My progress report back to the community is very simple: we have hit the budget in the plan. Our strategic plan is working and we are fiscally on track."
Also at the meeting, Paul D Grangaard, a director of the investment firm Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison, was elected to succeed Lund, who steps down after two years.
"His support of our artistry at the highest level, his leadership during the 2004 Extraordinary Gifts campaign, his wise counsel and personal integrity have helped lead the Orchestra to a very stable place," music director Osmo V‹nsk‹ said of Lund. "Ron has been a father figure to our organization, and we thank him very deeply for his leadership."