Local and Industry News

Miami-Dade County will pay up to $5 million to repair damage to the Arsht Center caused by a storm pipe that failed on May 21 during a performance of Lion King, causing the performance to be canceled and the audience to be evacuated.

The money will also pay to have a forensic engineer investigate the cause of the failed pipe and determine whether it was caused by faulty materials or workmanship. $2.1 million has already been spent to repair the damage and restore the theater. Warranties on the Center, which opened in 2006, have expired, and the Center has a $5 million deductible on its insurance policy.

Miami City Ballet Executive Director Nicholas Goldsborough, hired less than a year ago, has been let go as a cost-saving measure by the Ballet. CFO Jonah Pruitt will serve as acting executive director. The Ballet, which had $2 million in debt earlier this year, also announced that staff will take salary cuts of 3 to 15 percent, as well as unpaid furloughs.

Things are looking up for Orlando Ballet. Their $500,000 debt has been nearly erased, and subscription renewals are up 30 percent compared to last season. After years of performing to recorded music, the Ballet will be partnering with the Bach Festival Society and the Orlando Philharmonic to provide live musical accompaniment.


European Musicians are arguing that a draft European Union copyright law does not go far enough. In Europe, performers, producers, and writers earn royalties whenever their music is broadcast on radio, television, or in public spaces. About 5 to 10 percent of the royalties collected by roughly 250 societies across Europe is held for as long as three years before being distributed. The draft law requires royalties to be paid to artists no later than 12 months after the end of the fiscal year. The law also provides that if owners cannot be found within 5 years, the society can keep the funds. Performers argue that the five-year provision will reduce the incentive for societies to locate rights-holders.


The Florida Orchestra has negotiated a new three-year agreement months in advance of the expiration of their current agreement. The new agreement includes modest pay increases and restores workweeks, from 24 weeks under the current agreement to 26 1/2 weeks by the final year of the new agreement.

Stefan Sanderling has left the Florida Orchestra two seasons earlier than originally planned. Sanderling has been released from his current contract, which runs through the 2013-14 season. He will only conduct one of the 10 to 14 masterworks programs that he was scheduled to conduct in each of the next two seasons; guest conductors will be engaged to conduct the remainder of the programs, and the Orchestra hopes to hire a new music director by the end of the 2013-14 season. Sanderling had been music director since 2003.

The Jacksonville Symphony had a deficit of $450,000 last season, despite an increase in revenue of nearly $650,000. The orchestra now has an accumulated deficit of about $3 million.

The Dallas Symphony has received $700,000 from the Texas Instruments Foundation. Texas Instruments has been a sponsor of the orchestra for the past 12 years, and this is their largest gift to the orchestra to date.

After two seasons of deficits of $6 to8 million, the Dallas Symphony has ended the season with a balanced budget. The orchestra credits the success to an expanded donor base, significant corporate and foundation support, and new marketing strategies.

The St. Louis Symphony has negotiated a new four-year agreement, over a year in advance of the expiration of the current agreement. The new agreement freezes wages in the first year and provides for increases averaging 1.25 percent per year in the final three years. Pension contributions will also increase by 1.5 percent.

After two challenging years, the Oregon Symphony has seen its sales and attendance rise. This past season, ticket sales rose 19 percent to $6.8 million, and attendance rose 15 percent to 74 percent of capacity.

30 Rock star Alec Baldwin has donated $1 million to the New York Philharmonic in honor of outgoing president and executive director Zarin Mehta. Baldwin is a member of the orchestra's board and is also the host of its "The New York Philharmonic This Week" radio program.


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