In a statement released yesterday, management and players alike acknowledged openly that the contract was extended to provide the orchestra extra time to stabilize its finances without the uncertainty of ongoing labor negotiations. The Cincinnati Enquirer reported earlier this month that the CSO is facing a deficit of about $2 million, due mostly to a fall in payout from its endowment. Board members are now engaged in a capital campaign to increase the endowment, now worth $74 million (down from a high of $95 million before the stock market downturn earlier this decade), to over $100 million, according to the paper.
"The financial challenges the CSO faces are no secret and the continuing cooperation of the musicians is paramount to solving these challenges," said CSO board chairman Rick Reynolds. "This contract extension delays the formal contract negotiation process and thus allows the organization to focus on its financial health without compromising the artistic product."