Cleveland Orchestra Balances Budget After Three Years Of Deficits

Franz Welser Möst conducting the Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra head into 2020 on firmer financial footing [ideastream]

The Cleveland Orchestra announced Tuesday night it balanced its books this year after three years of deficits. CEO Andre Gremillet led the charge, and while he's pleased with the accomplishments outlined in the orchestra's annual report, he says there's much more to do.

Gremillet came to Cleveland four years ago with a reputation as a financial fixer. In previous posts with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and the Melbourne Symphony, he helped stabilized a couple of fiscally shaky organizations. In Cleveland, Gremillet faced a multi-million dollar deficit when he arrived and has worked to drain the red ink ever since.

“We balanced our budget this year after a deficit of $1.3 million the year before,” he said. “And while we still have a lot of work to do, it's significant progress.”

While the budget came in with only about $24,000 to spare, gifts to the orchestra's endowment more than doubled for this past year, bringing the fund up to $205 million.

“The endowment is really key to our long term success. If I were to characterize that the biggest challenge that we face, it's an endowment that's not large enough for the size of the institution,” he said.

Gremillet’s goal is to boost the endowment to $350 million. 



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