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Home » Orchestra News » National Philharmonic Will Continue Operations

National Philharmonic Will Continue Operations


The National Philharmonic in Maryland will continue performing in the coming season and beyond, after avoiding a near shut-down this summer.

In July, the orchestra announced unexpectedly that it had run out of money and would cease operations. The announcement prompted an outcry from audience members and musicians. In response, the philharmonic’s president put together an emergency fundraising campaign which raised $210,000—enough to cover operations in the coming season.

However, the musicians’ trust in management had already been lost. Jim Kelly, a violinist in the orchestra and a member of Local 161-710 (Washington, DC) and of Local 40-543 (Baltimore, MD), launched an independent fundraising campaign, raising $300,000. Those funds were to go to the National Philharmonic on the condition that senior leadership would be replaced; the board unanimously approved the plan.

Kelly will work unpaid for one year as president while the board searches for a permanent replacement. The outgoing president, who was in support of the plan, will serve as a consultant to Kelly through the end of the calendar year. The current board chair will step down and will be replaced by another board member.

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