By Mary Kunz Goldman
The numbers are in for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra's 2012-2013 season, and they strike many a bright, shiny note.
The budget is balanced, for the eighth time in the past nine years, and contributions are up. Concert revenue was at an all-time high, up 5.5 percent to $3,869,000 from $3,666,000 the year before. Louis P. Ciminelli, Chair of the BPO Board of Trustees, called it "one of the most exciting seasons on record for the BPO."
There was an 11.9 percent surge in contributions which was attributed to the fund raising surrounding the BPO's return to Carnegie Hall last spring for Carnegie Hall's "Spring For Music" Festival.
Endowment income grew from $1,110,000 to $1,206,000. Endowment assets under the management of the BPO Foundation are up 7.7 percent, growing to $16,605,000 -- an increase over over $1 million from from $15,410,000 last year, and for a 300 percent increase since 2004.
Attendance at the BPO's concerts was numbered at 180,000. Season subscriptions are at an all-time high and single ticket sales are also up, a boost the BPO attributes to expanded and creative programming. The 2012-2013 season saw several innovations designed to reach larger audiences, such as BPO Rocks and Know the Score. Several unusual concerts also drew new people to Kleinhans Music Hall. Among them were the appearance of soprano Kathleen Battle, a crossover concert by banjo player Bela Fleck and the Shostakovich concert featuring Russian poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko,
This good news helped the BPO weather the drop in government support. Government money fell to its lowest level in a decade -- $996,000, downfrom $1,018,000 the year before.
Our orchestra's upward momentum is great news especially considering all the orchestras that are struggling in this uneasy economic climate. It reflects certain things in Buffalo that are just going right. There is cooperation among the various branches of the BPO -- musicians, management and board. There is the loyalty the BPO and Music Director JoAnn Falletta, pictured above, get from the community. And the BPO answers that loyalty with creative programming that keeps the audience in mind.
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