A $5 million gift from the Wyncote Foundation will allow The Philadelphia Orchestra to increase and expand programming for the Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ, the world’s largest mechanical action concert hall pipe organ. The five-year initiative, “The Fred J. Cooper Memorial Organ Experience,” will feature the organ more extensively in programming and build new repertoire for the instrument. The musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra are members of Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA).
The Philadelphia Orchestra is returning to national radio with a regular presence on satellite station SiriusXM. Broadcasts will air three times per week over the next year, rotating 26 concerts recorded in Verizon Hall. In addition to the concert performances, the broadcasts will feature Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin of Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA) speaking about his personal approach to the music.
The Philadelphia Orchestra, whose musicians are also members of Local 77, will be the first American orchestra to be heard in regularly scheduled programming on the station. The deal, which gives the orchestra a regular national radio presence for the first time in more than 25 years, was facilitated and is being underwritten by an orchestra donor.
SiriusXM is a paid service with a monthly fee, and reaches listeners across the US and Canada. With more than 34 million SiriusXM subscribers, the broadcasts are expected to expand the orchestra’s reach in terms of audience.
The Philadelphia Orchestra ended its 2014 fiscal year with a small surplus of $670,000 on its $39.6 million budget, showing the orchestra’s turnaround since emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy two years ago.
The 2013-2014 season was a great success for the orchestra. Ticket revenue was up from previous seasons—$14.1 million, compared to $11.4 million in 2010—due to both an increase in ticket prices and an increase in the number of tickets sold. The annual fund has grown from $8.9 million in 2010 to $11.8 million in 2014, and the orchestra is aiming for $14.7 million in the current year. Finally, in 2013-2014, the board gave a total of $2.6 million, the largest amount it has ever contributed.
Since its 2009-2010 season, The Philadelphia Orchestra has raised $69 million toward its “transformation fund,” which is intended to cover the gap between income and expenses, ensuring that the orchestra does not run deficits. Now, the organization hopes that transformation fund donors will turn their attention toward endowment giving. The Philadelphia Orchestra’s current endowments total $133.8 million.