The Brooklyn Philharmonic might want to consider playing a funeral march — the cash-strapped orchestra just cut the remainder of its 2009 season, and laid off four workers, due to a lack of funding.
Money is so tight that the borough’s acclaimed symphony has canceled its final two orchestra performances scheduled for the Brooklyn Academy of Music on May 9, a story that was first reported by New York Press.
Nearly 85 percent of the classical ensemble’s funding comes from donations from foundations, corporations, government officials and individual contributors — but the economic downturn has resulted in funding that’s down almost 30 percent, Executive Director Greg Pierson told The Brooklyn Paper.
“We are taking every effort in order to increase and strengthen our fundraising efforts to assure that the Brooklyn Philharmonic’s programs continue,” Pierson said.
In order to save cash, the orchestra has nixed a matinee rendition of “A Mouse, a Wolf, and a Boy Named Peter,” and a performance of “Russian Tales” that was scheduled to include world premiere choreography for Stravinsky’s “A Soldier’s Tale.”
To further cut costs, the orchestra has laid off four non-musicians, Pierson said.
The news might sound like Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” (that’s one of the great composer’s saddest pieces, by the way), but Pierson promises that the orchestra will return for a 56th season.
“The Brooklyn Philharmonic plans to continue community concerts next season, including those at the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn Public Library, and other venues throughout the borough,” he said.
The budgetary woes won’t stand in the way of an April 19 solo performance by Brooklyn Philharmonic Concertmaster Deborah Buck at the Brooklyn Museum, nor will it cancel the symphony’s education and community programs, Pierson said.