Va. Symphony furloughs players, cuts budget

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra, which hasn’t performed since the coronavirus pandemic forced cancellations of its concerts in the spring, has furloughed its musicians until Feb. 9 and cut its current operating budget from $6.8 million to $4.2 million.

The furloughs, which Tanner Antonetti of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra Musicians Committee says will cost players nearly three-quarters of their income this season, will save the orchestra $900,000, according to Karen Philion, the VSO’s president and CEO.

The orchestra also has eliminated three administrative positions and furloughed some of its production staff.

The orchestra lost $1.4 million in revenue from canceled spring concerts, and “[w]ithout being able to have concerts this fall, that number will just keep going up,” Philion tells Amy Poulter of The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk:

The orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta, whose tenure as music director ended last season, is next scheduled to perform in a Jan. 8-10 Virginia Arts Festival program. It plans to launch its new season on Feb. 11.