PHILADELPHIA, April 16 (UPI) -- The Philadelphia Orchestra announced Saturday it is filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, becoming the first major U.S. orchestra to take that step.
Officials said the orchestra has a $13 million gap between its expected revenue this year and its expenses and only has enough cash on hand for two more months, The New York Times reported.
At a news conference after the vote, Allison Vulgamore, the chief executive officer and president, said lawyers planned to file the petition by Monday. She said the decision was difficult.
"But we also talked about wanting to see our future and taking the necessary steps to get there to it," she said.
Board Chairman Richard Worley said the orchestra could emerge from bankruptcy by the end of the year.
The orchestra was founded in 1900 and became known for the "Philadelphia sound" caused by the acoustics of the Academy of Music, its home until 2001. It was the first U.S. orchestra to make recordings and to appear on radio and television and was featured with conductor Leopold Stokowski in the classic Disney cartoon "Fantasia." It was also the first to visit China and Vietnam.
Members of the orchestra sitting on the board opposed the filing, Worley said. A musicians committee suggested the move would discourage donors.
The musicians are in the middle of contract negotiations.