Philadelphia Orchestra To File Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

Originally published on April 18, 2011 6:25 am
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RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

From member station WHYY, Peter Crimmins reports.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ADAGIO FOR STRINGS")

PETER CRIMMINS: On Saturday morning, outside the meeting where the orchestra board members were expected to vote for bankruptcy, about 40 players gathered to express their opposition through music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ADAGIO FOR STRINGS")

CRIMMINS: The Wister Quartet's Davyd Booth - who also performs with the orchestra - played Samuel Barber's "Adagio for Strings."

DAVYD BOOTH: We feel this is a somber occasion, and we wanted pieces that we felt were both somber and emotional.

CRIMMINS: The chairman of the orchestra's board, Richard Worley, says inside the meeting the tone was also emotional.

RICHARD WORLEY: You have a group of people who care deeply about this orchestra, making a decision that they hoped they never would have to make.

CRIMMINS: Jesse Rosen, the president of the American League of Orchestras, says bankruptcy for an organization the size and reputation of the Philadelphia Orchestra is unprecedented.

JESSE ROSEN: We're confronting a culture that is shifting, and there's a message to rest of to the rest of the field in Philadelphia that it's not enough to be really, really good.

CRIMMINS: For NPR news, I'm Peter Crimmins in Philadelphia. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.