Houston Symphony Reports Balanced Budget for 2004-05

Classic Arts News   Houston Symphony Reports Balanced Budget for 2004-05
The Houston Symphony has balanced its budget for the 2004-05 season, the orchestra announced.

The orchestra said in May that it might be able to reach a balanced budget, but was still waiting for some last-minute contributions. Since then, the orchestra has projected a balanced budget for 2005-06, which triggered a $2 million donation—which, in turn, clinched a balanced budget for 2004-05.

The break-even result marks a major step toward financial stability for the orchestra, after a shortfall of $3.6 million in 2002-03 and an $800,000 deficit in 2003-04.

The orchestra also announced that both musicians and the orchestra's board had ratified a contract extension that included a pay freeze for 2005-06.

"Three factors came together to make this possible," said orchestra president Ed Wulfe. "First, our musicians made a major contribution by extending their current contract in an atmosphere marked by a new spirit of understanding and cooperation. Then, other efficiency efforts on the part of management enabled us to forecast a break-even budget for the 2005-2006 year. That forecast triggered an anonymous grant of $2 million, which, together with another anonymous grant, allowed us to reach break-even for last year, and challenged us to make adjustments for the current year on both the expense and revenue fronts."

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