LA Philharmonic Cancels Its Entire 2019-2020 Season — Dudamel Foregoes His Multi-Million Dollar Salary

LA Philharmonic
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LA Philharmonic
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Photo Credit: Arindam Mahanta

The LA Philharmonic is canceling the remainder of its 2019-2020 season.

Layoffs and pay cuts were also announced as part of a money-saving response to the closure. Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel will also forego his multi-million dollar salary during the cancellation period.  Dudamel was making north of $3 million back in 2016, and recently re-upped through the 2025-6 season.

Other orchestra members will receive 65% of their weekly minimum scale, starting April 20. All full-time orchestra members and 174 full-time admin staff will keep their health benefits while Disney Concert Hall remains empty.

A payroll reduction of 35% will include the layoff of 94 part-time employees. Leadership will also take a 35% pay cut for the duration of the cancellation.

Chief Executive Chad Smith described the situation as “impossible” in an interview after the announcement. “We’re an institution that brings large groups of people together to experience music communally. That’s our entire reason for being, and in this time, that’s exactly what we can’t do,” the exec said.

The LA Philharmonic started by canceling concerts through May 10th as coronavirus cases began to rise.

Since that announcement on March 12th, the orchestra has kept all wages in place. Now the organization is looking at maintaining the long-term financial viability of the orchestra.

The Hollywood Bowl’s fate is still undetermined for now. The LA Philharmonic hosts numerous shows at the fabled outdoor venue, and this time of year is usually one of the busiest for ticket sales. Smith says it’s impossible to adequately estimate the financial losses the organization will incur during the shutdown.

Lost ticket revenue from Disney Concert Hall alone is estimated to be between $9 million and $10 million. Smith says ticket revenue, endowments, and donations are the three main streams for the orchestra’s financial health. Ticket revenue is the largest source of income and is the one most impacted by the crisis.

Other organizations are making the same hard choices to preserve their future.

The Center Theatre Group suspended all shows through the summer, furloughing half of its staff. The Museum of Contemporary Art laid off all part-time employees and furloughed much of its full-time staff. The New York Philharmonic canceled the rest of its 2020 season last week.

10 Responses

    • Trish

      Where? It must be the mass graves in NY or the freezer trucks lined up outside hospitals to hold the dead. Yeah, those dead people are so hysterical. You’re the only one who perpetuates hysteria…hysteria against reality. Just stop. You’re a mess.

      • Angelito

        You cohorts predicted a million dead in the US, and it will be under 100k—and that is overstated. It will likely end right where a typical flu year ends at about 80k. I think it is clear that you are the hysterical nimrod.

        Also, do you have any problem with the 650,000 babies who are aborted each year in the US? I doubt it. Get off your damn soapbox and admit you and your leftist friends are absolute frauds.

        • Trish

          My cohorts? Who are these people? Like you know me at all. What a buffoonish statement.

          A prediction is just what it is. Your follow-up with the under 100k number is another guess. The only true number is the one at the end of this, so cool your jets, Dr. Oh wait, you’re not a doctor? Well, that’s a shock since you keep talking like you know something…anything.

          To bring up a different subject (abortion in this case) shows that you need to divert the attention away. And the fact that you keep trying to make this virus crisis about left/right political leaning is a serious joke.

          Talk about hysteria?! Yes, it’s you. I bring calm, fact-based information that make sense. You blather on an on. Settle down, Hysterelito.

          • Angelito

            You and your leftist cohorts urged hysteria and put forth false predictions for political purposes. You are a disgusting pig and America will learn the truth of your manufactured hysteria.

            Shame on you, you piece of garbage.

  1. Trish

    Angelito, you’re a mess. You’ve got no stance, no real argument, nothing to support your random, chaotic statements. What a disaster you are. It’s apparent that you could use some psychological assistance. Leftist? Really, you’re trying to make this worldwide situation political? The hysteria keeps coming from you and you alone. Seek help.

    • Angelito

      You are the one panicking and urging the world to shut down. That IS hysteria because the numbers from the CDC do not support it.

      I am going in circles with you. Go to an anti-Trump rally soon and get your life back.

      • Trish

        Not once did I say the world should shut down. So, your entire case is shot. A total fail on your part. The only thing that shut down is your brain.

          • Trish

            No valid response. I thought not. You make claims, but can’t back them up. #emptysuit