|Orchestra Hall, Detroit--6M refurbish|
|"The Max"--60M boondoggle|
The most recent financial report filed to the IRS notes a $15 million deficit, despite the sacrifices of the musicians--the people that patrons pay to hear. On top of this, DSO CEO Anne Parsons, who has presided over this folly, received nearly $300,000 in compensation and benefits. An additional endowment provides Ms. Parsons with free housing and "social club dues" to the tune of another $76,000! On the flip side, the base salary of Music Director Leonard Slatkin is a mere $165,000. In these days of skyrocketing conductor salaries, he is a bargain on the level of Sam's Club.
Note that amidst all of this dire news, the Detroit metro area ranks ninth nationally in the number of millionaires. Methinks there are a lot of potential patrons to help dig the DSO out of this mess, but it is going to take action on a grand scale and undoubtedly with new management--a completely clean slate--in place.
How many other orchestras have suffered from a gross mismanagement of the budget? Well, we could start with Philadelphia...