Detroit Symphony Resolves Bank Loans Tied to Venue

Corey Williams, Yahoo! News, May 31, 2012

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra announced Thursday that it has resolved $54 million in loans owed to five banks on a real estate deal for the Max M. Fisher Music Center, allowing the 125-year-old orchestra to more confidently move ahead in its financial recovery.

The settlement was announced Wednesday before the orchestra’s executive committee and released publicly Thursday morning. Details of the deal were not disclosed.

“The settlement had a very tight confidentiality agreement,” orchestra executive vice president Paul Hogle told The Associated Press Wednesday afternoon.


Resolving the loans enables the orchestra to move forward with its strategic recovery plan and follows several years of financial troubles, including a contentious 6-month strike by musicians who in April 2011 agreed to major contract concessions.

The loan settlement took two to three years to complete, orchestra treasurer Arthur Weiss said. Weiss negotiated with the five banks and their counsels to broker the deal.

“We settled it,” Weiss said. “We have a lot of work ahead of us. We have to create a strong foundation for this cultural institution and increase annual fundraising. We have to make sure we meet the annual giving and we will continue to do whatever we can to put the institution on a sound financial base.


The orchestra still faces an expected $3 million operating deficit heading into the start of its new fiscal year in August, and could spend another three to five years with a negative balance.

“We will definitely still be in the red,” Hogle said.


In 2009, 39 staff positions were eliminated, while pay cuts of 5 percent and 10 percent were instituted. Music Director Leonard Slatkin agreed in 2010 to a 3-year contract extension and a pay cut.



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  • Francis Galton

    I don’t understand how the Detroit Symphony Orchestra could run out of money.  All they need to operate are buckets, pots, pans, sticks, and a group of At Risk Youth to perform with these Authentically African percussion instruments; throw in some hand-clapping, scat-talking, and a few call-response motifs, and you have an African magnum opus.  Bach and Beethoven lovers need not attend.

  • Church_of_Jed

    This story reads like tea leaves for the future.

    White music is unsustainable in a Major Black Run American Diversity City as the Whites flee increasing crime and property taxes and reduced services and police protections.  The deal only postponed the inevitable crash.  The firings and pay cuts are the future- post White privilege means firing White people and cutting pay for the demoralized few who  “adjust” and are allowed to stay.This story is the story of the fast approaching GDAMERI3KA.

    “Welcome to the Church of Jed. If you still hold hopes that the future will be better, you must not be White. Get out.”

    -Rev. Jed DeValleyism, “Post White privilege will hurt really bad,” 2009

    • mikejones91

      Bless you Reverend.

    • alastairabbacle


      Now let us Christian brothers call to the defense of our culture.  We are can be stronger than we show know, with the bolstering of the Christian faith and heritage.

  • I’m glad to read this news.  This should make the symphony orchestra fan in Detroit very happy.

    And yes, there is affirmative action in this field.

  • Maybe they would be better off switching to being a rape music venue, the arts cant survive white flight

  • Detroit “needs” a symphony

    A Whole Foods Market

  • xxxtonygunsxxx

     Guglielmi said the victim was apparently walking to work about 7 a.m.
    when he was attacked by at least five juveniles – four males and one
    female. One youth was not wearing a shirt. Other clothing descriptions
    were not available, but police said they did not appear to be wearing
    school uniforms.

    Police were viewing video from surveillance
    cameras to try and identify the youths involved. Guglielmi said the
    victim was “punched in the head and kicked to the ground,” but was not
    hurt seriously enough to require medical attention. Police said he was
    not robbed.

    The earlier attack occurred Wednesday about 8:30
    a.m. at Charles and Lombard streets, at the southeast corner of Hopkins
    Plaza. Police said officers responded to 911 calls reporting “a group of
    juveniles fighting,” possibly wearing school uniforms.

    • Up to my neck in CA

      “Police said he was not robbed.” 
      So it wasn’t a robbery gone wrong then? So what was it? Did he use a racial slur?
      Did he think a racial slur? Was he wearing a Romney t-shirt? Was the poor yoofs
      dissed by his White Privilege? The real racists in America are the blacks!

  • Wait…

    Detroit has a Symphony? 

    Really?  Who knew?

    I thought it went the way of the Dodo back when whites fled the city.

    •  You beat me to it.

    • alastairabbacle

      Detroit has the some of the most prosperous and vast suburbs in the nation.  

      You must think of “Detroit” as the whole metro area.  

  • JackKrak

    How can it not have a racial dimension if, as you say, 99% of the paying audience is not black? If a statistically insignificant number of blacks support the DSO, how can it have any real future in a city that comes closer to being 100% every day? Also, I doubt very much that the DSO or any such orchestra in America is funded mostly by ticket sales. They all get extensive subsidies, free or discounted use of facilities & any other freebies local and states governments can throw them.

  • alastairabbacle


    All high culture will suffer when a city loses its original European immigrant base.  
    Though the original European immigrant base may simply move to the suburbs, the distance to travel to the orchestra concert makes a difference.

    Part of going to a evening of high culture entertainment is enjoying the surrounding city before and afterwards.  Having a long commute, or having the venue in an area with too many scuzzy people make the evening less enjoyable.

    Imagine the pleasure which once existed, of the second-generation European-Americans taking the streetcar from their nearby neighborhood to the Orchestra concert, after a quick stop at their local pub on the way.  

    US orchestras are suffering mostly because of the reduction in the White population of the USA.  Additionally, they are suffering because of the reduction in European-American cultural dominance caused by the rise in Negro-influenced art forms in the 1960’s.   

    Once the White Americans begin to return to cities, as in Manhattan and Chicago, the orchestra can be assured an improved long term outlook.   Thus, the orchestras of Baltimore, Detroit and Philadelphia have to really find a way around the difficulties caused by White flight.,0,685458.story

    In the case of the Washington DC orchestra, things have gotten better.  This is partly helped by the influx of White people into the city.  As we know, both Chicago and New York are working on getting this to also happen, pulling the young Whites back to the city core.  This should help those orchestras in the long term.

    •  To think all the great masterpieces of Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Vivaldi, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, etc. never to be heard again and replaced by (c)rap or some other underclass trash music.  I don’t want to think about that…

      One of my personal favorites is “Die Moldau” by Bedrich Smetana.  He wrote a series of symphonies about Bohemia titled “Ma vlast” (My country) to give his people a sense of ethnic and national pride during a movement for an independent Bohemia.  Today this music is a symbol of pride in the Czech nation.  I see it as a symbol of inspiration.

  • ACE2X

    Sorry, there’s no hope for this fine organization. The demographics are solidly
    against them. The population becomes increasingly illiterate, profane and vulgar
    and uncouth. Rap is the preferred choice – no more than 3 syllables, lotsa MFs
    and stupidity galore accompanied by primitive drum beat. No more inspiring,
    uplifting patriotic music for you folks.

  •  Slatkin?  As in Leonard Slatkin?  He was the St. Louis Symphony conductor for a long time.

  • Up to my neck in CA