New Jersey Symphony Reports Smaller Deficit

Classic Arts News   New Jersey Symphony Reports Smaller Deficit
 
The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra ran an $892,000 deficit in 2003-04, cutting its shortfall by 50 percent compared to the previous year, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

Information on the budget was included in an audit of the orchestra provided to the Star-Ledger.

The audit also found that while the NJSO succeeded in cutting expenses, it also suffered from a drop in revenue from ticket sales and donations.

The NJSO is carrying a total of $19.5 million in debt, most of it a result of the loans it took out to buy a collection of rare string instruments for $18 million from Herbert Axelrod, a philanthropist who has since been convicted of tax fraud in an unrelated case. The orchestra paid $882,000 in interest last year.

Initially the orchestra accepted Axelrod's $49 million valuation of the instruments for the purposes of its recordkeeping. But after an internal report cast doubt on the worth‹ and even the authenticity‹of some of them, the orchestra wrote off $31 million and now values them at the purchase price of $18 million, according to the audit.


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