Byline: Bill Gowen
The financial health of symphony orchestras has been a major subject here over the past year, in particular following the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's announcement last October that it had posted a $6.1 million deficit for fiscal year 2002.
The CSO's actual operating deficit was $3.8 million (on total operating expenses of $59.6 million), to which was added a one-time loss of $2.3 million in non-cash accounting adjustments, which included bad debts and other writeoffs.
But the CSO remains in relatively healthy condition, with total assets of $410 million and net assets of $242 million. At the conclusion of FY 2002, the orchestra's endowment stood at an impressive $162 million, albeit down from $168 million the year before after book-balancing monies were withdrawn.
Other major-city orchestras also ended 2002 with deficits, although to somewhat lesser degrees than the CSO. They include the Philadelphia Orchestra and Boston …