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Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra announces shutdown
The Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra released the following statement. The Bellevue Reporter will continue to report on this news in the coming days.
Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra’s board of directors has announced that the orchestra will cease operations by the end of July, 2011. After months of discussion and analysis, the board made this decision given the long term realities facing the organization. The board is announcing to patrons that the upcoming July 4 Concert in the Park at the Symetra Bellevue Family Fourth will be the 43-year-old orchestra’s finale. Season ticket subscriptions for the 2011-2012 season will not be processed and checks will be returned to our subscribers who have already submitted them.
Janis Wold, president of the board, noted, “We have made a great number of improvements to the operation and structure of Bellevue Philharmonic Orchestra in recent years, resulting in an amazingly lean and efficient organization. However, decreases in available funding, debts incurred in prior years, and an increasingly competitive environment for households’ discretionary entertainment dollars have created very significant challenges. The organization is simply not sustainable due to lack of support by larger donors to create an endowment, as well as a shrinking subscriber base. As stewards of BPO this is extremely painful, but it is the right thing to do.“
The board would like to thank the artists and employees who have made many sacrifices and worked to support the orchestra in the face of increasing obstacles through the economic downturn. Many patrons have noted that the artistic quality continued to reach new heights in the past two seasons, and we cannot overstate our appreciation for the professionalism, personal generosity, and hard work exhibited by our musicians and our conductor, Michael Miropolsky. Bellevue Philharmonic’s subscribers and donors - individuals, corporations, local government, and foundations - have become valued partners over the past four decades, and they have our most sincere gratitude. Additionally, BPO has long enjoyed its relationship with Meydenbauer Center and other venues, and will always be appreciative of those partnerships.
It is the board’s hope that when Tateuchi Center (PACE) is completed, the orchestra may again play on the Eastside in a venue that will support us, both acoustically and in seating capacity. Our desire is for the fine classical music that has enthralled audiences over the years to return to this community. We hope that it will be enthusiastically embraced and supported by community members in a future incarnation. In the meantime, it is our wish that classical music will be kept alive on the Eastside with increased support to the many exceptional performing arts organizations, old and new, that continue to be based here.