Tag Archives: cleveland orchestra

Cleveland Orchestra Achieves Balanced Budget

For the first time since 2015, the Cleveland Orchestra ended its 2019 fiscal year in the black, with a surplus of $24,000 on its $53 million budget. The strong financial position this year is attributed to new trustees, a larger endowment draw, and a significant number of unrestricted bequests.

The orchestra’s endowment increased by $14.2 million, to a total of $205.7 million; the organization’s goal is an endowment of $350 million. In addition, average attendance hit a record high and single-ticket sales increased 6.1%. The Cleveland Orchestra also consistently draws a young audience, with 20% under 25 years of age.

Cleveland Orchestra musicians are members of Local 4 (Cleveland, OH).

Cleveland Orchestra Ratifies Three-Year Contract

In mid-December, musicians of The Cleveland Orchestra, members of Local 4 (Cleveland, OH), ratified a three-year agreement retroactive to September 3, 2018 that runs through August 29, 2021. The orchestra’s season remains 52 weeks and size remains 100 members. Musicians will receive raises each year of the contract. Base salary will rise from $135,096 (2017-2018) to $143,364 by the 2020-2021 season. Musicians also secured a small increase in the employer contribution to 403(b) retirement plans, as well as a new seniority category for 25-year musicians ($245 per week)—an item that had been sought in many previous negotiations.

Negotiations were, for the most part, cordial, but were held up several months due to management’s insistence on a health care concession that would have required musicians who enroll employed spouses on the orchestra’s health plan to pay a surcharge or other penalty. The negotiating committee held firm in rejecting this concession and made clear that the musicians were willing to withhold their services if necessary.

Cleveland Orchestra Receives Generous Bequest

The Cleveland Orchestra has received $9.3 million from the estate of local philanthropist Dr. Jean Hower Taber, great-granddaughter of the founder of the Quaker Oats Company. The gift, announced by the orchestra in early August, was outlined in her will and came as an unexpected surprise. Taber, who regularly contributed to the orchestra’s annual fund as a member of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Heritage Society, died in July 2017, at age 94.

An August performance at Blossom Music Center was dedicated to Taber. The Cleveland Orchestra musicians, members of Local 4 (Cleveland, OH)—along with the entire organization—are grateful for the generous gift.

Cleveland Receives $15 Million Gift

Richard and Emily Smucker have pledged $15 million to The Cleveland Orchestra in celebration of its 100th season. The gift will fund artistic and education programs, with an emphasis on young people. In addition, a significant portion of the gift will support the orchestra’s endowment. The Smuckers have designated $3 million of their pledge as a challenge grant.

“The work these musicians do inspires audiences and young people throughout our community, across the nation, and around the world,” says Richard K. Smucker, who serves as president of The Cleveland Orchestra’s board of directors. “From my own life experience, I know that music has the power to change lives.” The musicians are members of Local 4 (Cleveland, OH).

Richard Smucker retired from his position as chief executive officer of the J. M. Smucker Company in 2016. He was elected board president of The Cleveland Orchestra March 2017; he has served on the board of trustees since 1989.

Cleveland Orchestra Musicians Visit Miami Community Center

Cleveland Orchestra Musicians Visit Miami Community Center

Cleveland Orchestra Musicians Visit Miami Community Center

Cleveland Orchestra violinist Eliesha Nelson, seated, works with a violin student Tuesday at the Barnyard center in the Coconut Grove neighborhood of Miami (Zachary Lewis/The Plain Dealer)

It isn’t exactly uncommon for an orchestra to help out in its community, but Cleveland Orchestra of local 4 (Cleveland, OH) goes the extra mile — or a thousand. On a trip to Florida to perform at Miami’s Arsht Center Cleveland Orchestra has developed a habit of visiting Barnyard, a nonprofit after-school center in Miami’s Coconut Grove neighborhood. The tradition remained intact as two musicians visited the program to share their music experiences with the class.

Violinist Isabel Trautwein and violist Eliesha Nelson took time out of their day on Tuesday to perform and teach to very eager elementary school-aged children. The two musicians performed numerous songs and then asked the children questions about what they heard.

“Each of you has a different way of hearing music. That’s the magic of music.” explained Trautwein who also founded a music training program back in Cleveland called El Sistema@Rainey.

Then they taught children with hands-on training as other children watched and learned. Even when the children were beginners they still were eager to learn. Learning proper hand positions and tips to stay in the right position is imperative among younger musicians. Learning the techniques now will ensure they continue to use them as they develop their music career, whether that is recreational or professional.

Diana Rosenberg, a Barnyard board member says it is this interaction that keeps the Cleveland Orchestra so loved in Florida.

“It gives [the students] something else to dream about,” she said. “You can see how important it is. I love the way that they’ve become a part of our community. It’s changed our lives.”

Cleveland Orchestra in the Black

In fiscal year 2014, The Cleveland Orchestra was in the black for the first time since 2001, with a $1 million surplus on its $47.8 million budget.

The orchestra saw improved audience numbers in the 2013-2014 season, including a slight increase at its main series at Severance Hall and a dramatic 11% increase at Blossom Music Center, which was attributed to a Beatles tribute concert, an appearance by Yo-Yo Ma of Local 802 (New York City), and a free concert night. Throughout the season, 200 people took advantage of The Cleveland Orchestra’s new program admitting patrons 18 and under for free.

The endowment grew by $22 million, to a total of $172 million, the highest level it has ever reached. Annual fund gifts totaled $10.6 million, also a record high.

In order to close the gap between revenue and expenses, The Cleveland Orchestra embarked on a special fundraising campaign, which succeeded in raising $8.4 million. It hopes to eliminate the need for special fundraising in the current season.