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Hudson Valley Philharmonic wants to split from Bardavon

Jan 04, 2024 12:11 am

Brian Hubert reports in the Daily Freeman that the Hudson Valley Philharmonic says its musicians want to split from the Bardavon, the non-profit that runs the Ulster Performing Arts Center in Kingston and the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie. Philharmonic musicians said in a joint statement, “Separating from our current management at the Bardavon is necessary for us because we have more to offer the community than the Bardavon is willing to plan and produce.” The orchestra members said a lack of concert dates, the cancellation of Young People’s Concerts and auditions, and not filling the role of its late music director Randall Craig Fleischer forced the split. Bardavon Executive Director Chris Silva said they presented a three-year contract in spring 2023 to the musicians, with “substantial salary increases” and just three concerts per season. But the musicians rejected that contract offer and the 2023-2024 season was canceled. Silve said, “Musicians saying ‘we want more programming’ when the existing programming is already not financially sustainable ignores the issues at hand and is not a realistic path forward.” A large donation covered recent orchestra deficits, but Silva said, “We can’t make budget projections based on the possibility of future bequests.... Symphony orchestras large and small across the country have been failing or struggling to survive both pre and post-pandemic." The musicians say they are talking to other venues about performing, and looking for sponsorship. The orchestra currently has 51 members with 10 open positions. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.