Could the Broke-lyn Philharmonic be back next year?

Broke-lyn Philharmonic cancels shows
Conductor Michael Christie has led the Brooklyn Philharmonic for three years. Now, budget cuts have curtailed his season.
Brooklyn Philharmonic

The Brooklyn Philharmonic may no longer be playing the blues.

The cash-strapped symphony announced last week that the 2011 season is on, even as classical music fans are still smarting from last year’s decision to scrap performances in 2009 and 2010.

The announcement of light at the end of the cello does not mean that the Philharmonic has rehired the four non-musicians that it laid off last year, but Executive Director Greg Pierson said that the group has enough funding to continue its music education program — and prepare for more.

“We’re going to re-emerge on BAM’s main stage in 2011,” Pierson said. “But we haven’t been able to increase our staff — we lost a number of foundation grants [early in 2009].”

But since then, other foundations have bolstered the budget, and, paired with efforts by the City Council, the ensemble finally has the beginnings of a strong crescendo, Pierson said.

Almost 85 percent of the philharmonic’s funding comes from grants, corporate donations and individual contributions. To cut costs as the economy tanked, the non-musicians were laid off and many of the shows — including “A Mouse, a Wolf and a Boy Named Peter” — were cut from the 2009 season.

But he still believes.

“I know that the borough can support a professional orchestra,” he said. “The audience is out there.”

Eventually, the orchestra will complete its makeover of the decommissioned firehouse on Degraw Street in Cobble Hill and turn it into an educational center and administrative space.

The Brooklyn Philharmonic will finish transforming this former firehouse on Degraw Street into offices and a community space once it gets money.

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