Monday, June 25, 2007

Symphony in the black

The Richmond Symphony expects to close its 2007 fiscal year, ending June 30, with an $85,000 deficit on an operating budget of $4.5 million. That shortfall will be offset by $100,000 in debt-retirement funds from the Richmond Symphony Foundation.

This will be the first time since 2000 that the symphony has ended a season in the black. Its finances have been especially strained since the closure of the Carpenter Center and the orchestra’s move to temporary venues 3½ years ago.

Reduction of the deficit was aided by special transition funds from the Commonwealth of Virginia, the Community Foundation, the Carpenter Foundation, Philip Morris USA, Bank of America and other foundations. The orchestra used those funds for a $250,000 matching challenge fund to attract new supporters, according to David Fisk, the symphony’s executive director.

The Richmond Symphony Foundation’s restricted endowment assets stood at nearly $9.3 million as of March 31, Fisk reports.

Following a gift of $500,000 to the symphony endowment from the Windsor Foundation, the orchestra’s principal piano and celeste position, held by Russell Wilson, will be named in honor of Quincy and Anne Owen Cole.

At a recent meeting of the symphony’s board of directors, Marcia Thalhimer was elected as president of the board, succeeding Joseph C. Carter III. Gail L. Letts, Linda V. Schreiner and the Rev. Raymond Spence were elected as new board members.