Philadelphia Orchestra Bankruptcy at Crossroads


The journey in bankruptcy continued for the Philadelphia Orchestra Association when the proceedings arrived at a critical crossroad. At the hearing before Judge Eric L. Frank, two options were presented – one which could see a quick resolution to the disputes or the other that could result in a long-drawn bankruptcy battle.

The first option is for the management of the orchestra and musicians to continue trying to come to agreeable terms on a new labor contract which would include how musicians’ pensions will now be structured. They could either go along with the existing arrangement for pensions or draft out a new one altogether. The negotiations on this matter are currently being arbitrated by Stephen Raslavich, chief judge of US Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

If a consensus can be reached and an agreement forged, it could spell a quick end to the bankruptcy negotiations and pave an early exit from bankruptcy for the Orchestra. Then the Orchestra may even open its Verizon Hall season soon assuming they and the Kimmel Center agree on a new lease agreement, or decide to handle those talks apart from the bankruptcy process. With the matter of the lease out of the way, we might be seeing the Orchestra back as early as next month.

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