According to a financial audit of the 2004-05 season, the orchestra's surplus will be $27,000 on a budget of $14.4 million.
Ticket revenues were reported to be up 1.5 percent, to $4.3 million. The orchestra reduced its operating expenses by nearly $1 million and raised $5.5 million in its annual-giving campaign.
Although the orchestra must still deal with its debt of over $19 million and a loan that requires large interest payments, the financial news is largely good, a welcome change after years of deficits and the controversy surrounding its $18 million purchase of 30 rare stringed instruments from philanthropist Herbert Axelrod, who has since been convicted on unrelated fraud charges. It was thought that Axelrod had inflated the value of the instruments, and perhaps misrepresented their provenance.
According to the Star-Ledger, the instruments have required $690,000 in upkeep since their purchase.