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Home » Orchestra News » Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to Receive State Funding

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to Receive State Funding


In an effort to help Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) musicians and management reach a contract agreement, a bill providing an additional $3.2 million in state funding to the orchestra over the next two years is expected to become law by the end of May. The $1.6 million in annual support will be in addition to $3.3 million in state and local government funding for the current year. BSO’s current annual budget is more than $29 million, and the last reported evaluation of the BSO endowment showed a balance in excess of $72 million.

In February, the Baltimore City Council passed a resolution urging the Maryland legislature to restore its support for the symphony to pre-recession levels. The resulting bill—called the John C. Merrill Act, in honor of the late BSO violinist—was approved by both the House of Delegates and Senate in April. The bill also establishes a working group to examine the BSO’s business model. The group will be tasked with exploring, among other things, health care options and strategies for attracting younger and more diverse audiences to the symphony.

BSO musicians, members of Local 40-543, have been playing without a contract since January; negotiation sessions are ongoing.