Buffalo Philharmonic Cancels Five Concerts, Citing Loss of County Funds

Classic Arts News   Buffalo Philharmonic Cancels Five Concerts, Citing Loss of County Funds
The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has cancelled five performances due to budget uncertainties in Erie County.

Ange Fatta, chair of the BPO board of trustees, said, "Aggressive cost controls have been in place for the entire season. We had closed our financial gap to less than $300,000. But the loss of the $710,000 anticipated from the county and ongoing questions about how much, if any money we will eventually receive forces hard business decisions."

In addition, some key staff positions will be left open, and other unspecified cost-cutting measures will be taken. The orchestra is implementing a long-term strategy to reduce its expenses by $1.5-$2.5 million over the next five years.

According to the Buffalo News, the announcement is the latest consequence of the county's uncertainty about funding the arts. No one seems to have a clear idea of how much money is available for the arts and which groups will get it. At one point, the county legislature restored $2.7 million in arts funding and directed Laurence K. Rubin, commissioner of environment and planning, to distribute the money to arts groups. But Rubin later said that the amount of money had not, in fact, been determined, and that money designated for arts might have to go to restore budgets in other departments.

Ticket holders for classical concerts on March 4, March 18, and April 29 can exchange their tickets for other performances of the same program. Those with tickets for Regina Carter on April 1 or Jimmy Bosch on June 12 will be offered tickets for other concerts.

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