Symphony Cancels 2 Dates, But Stays the Course

February 27th, 2009 by WY Daily Staff

Symphony Cancels 2 Dates, But Stays the Course

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra continues to survive despite a curtailed schedule.

Two show dates were removed from the Symphony’s calendar to help the struggling orchestra make its way through a tough economy.

The April 24 show at the Ferguson Center and the April 26 show at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach were cancelled, resulting in about $55,000 in savings for the orchestra.

“I guess you could say we’re in survival mode right now,” says the orchestra’s spokeswoman Donna Hudgins.

As with any business there are expenses, personnel being the largest. In December the orchestra received a loan, which helps them meet payroll, from the Norfolk Economic Development Authority.

“Our assets are our wonderful musicians,” she says.

Some musicians and staff, including music director JoAnn Falletta, agreed to a 20 percent pay cut. This will help the orchestra get through to the season’s end in May.

Falletta received national recognition recently with three Grammy nominations in which she directed the Buffalo Philharmonic in their recordings of “Mr. Tambourine Man.” Two of the three nods earned Grammys earlier this month.

“Under her leadership the Virginia Symphony has grown in stature to become one of the leading regional orchestras in the country,” says Hudgins.

The planned performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto is still planned for Thursday, April 2 at the Ferguson Center.

Donations are up and about 300 new contributors are on board for the next year, which helps because Hudgins says they are now working on next year’s budget.

The symphony performs Verdi’s Requiem at the Ferguson Center in Newport News tonight at 8 p.m., then Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Chrysler in Norfolk. Tickets are still available.

Updated events and shows can be viewed at online.

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