New Jersey Symphony to Cut Classical Concerts & Reduce Budget

By Francisco Salazar

The New Jersey Symphony has announced that it will be consolidating its classical series concert weekends for the upcoming 2023-24 season and reducing its administrative staff by 15.4 percent in an effort to reduce costs.

The orchestra also noted that current administrative employees will be required to take furloughs and senior leadership will take salary reductions. Additionally, musicians, who recently signed a collective bargaining agreement, will not be impacted.

In a statement, President and CEO Gabriel van Aalst said, “Our colleagues across the arts sector have all been feeling pain as we emerge from the pandemic. The New Jersey Symphony is, unfortunately, not immune from the impact of both recent cost increases of almost 30 percent and audience numbers that are only 75 percent of our pre-pandemic seasons.”

He added that donations and an increase in state funding cannot fully cover the deficits.

The orchestra noted that it was reducing classical concerts because the series has had low attendance. The number of performances on some of the remaining 11 classical weekends will increase to “allow the organization to amortize the cost of rehearsals and other operating expenses.”

The consolidation is estimated to result in $650,000 savings.