INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra reports that its budget is back in the black for the first time since 2007 because of big spending cuts and an increase in donations.
The results come after the orchestra's management and its musicians agreed to a new contract in October 2012 following a lockout during which five weekends of performances were canceled.
The orchestra ended its 2012-2013 fiscal year with a surplus of nearly $236,000 on $23.2 million in revenue, officials announced during its annual meeting Monday.
The orchestra's spending dropped 15 percent, in large part from a 32 percent reduction in base pay for musicians. Fundraising was up $4 million to a record level of about $9.8 million.
"After a groundswell of support from the Indianapolis community and major sacrifices from our musicians, the ISO had a milestone fundraising year and demonstrated it can operate within its means," symphony board chairwoman Martha Lamkin said.
The new five-year contract with musicians cut base pay for the orchestra's some 80 musicians to $53,000 a year, rising to $70,000 in the final contract year. It also reduced the year-round performance schedule by eight weeks during the first two years.
The pay cuts were difficult for some of the musicians, but it's good to see the orchestra not operating in a deficit, said Rick Graef, who led the union's negotiating committee.
A few orchestra members retired soon after the concessions, Graef, a horn player in the orchestra, told the Indianapolis Business Journal.
"I don't think it hurt us artistically, but it's something we have to be cognizant of," he said about the potential for turnover.
The Indianapolis Star reports Gary Ginstling, the orchestra's president and CEO, didn't give details on plans to attract new patrons but said that the combination of musicians and wide-ranging programming will show it can be artistically compelling and financially successful.
"We are a vibrant part of this community, and a great city deserves a great orchestra," Ginstling said. "We're making the case that we're worthy of support."