BPO Financial Report in Tune

October 5, 2012 Updated Oct 5, 2012 at 7:13 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

October 5, 2012 Updated Oct 5, 2012 at 7:13 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra finished its 2011-12 fiscal year on both an artistic and financial high.

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra Society, parent organization to the BPO, reported matching revenues and expenses of $10.2 million. The BPO's fiscal year ended on Aug. 31. This marked the seventh time in the last eight years, the BPO finished its fiscal year with a balanced budget, said Dan Hart, orchestra executive director.

According to its unaudited returns, earned income based off ticket sales and fees topped $3.7 million while contributed income hit the $5.4 million mark. Earned income accounts for 36 percent of the orchestra's revenues while contributed income equaling 53 percent of its revenues.

Endowment income accounted for $1.1 million, or 11 percent, of the BPO's revenues.

"These are challenging times for orchestras, and for the arts in general," Hart said. "It's rewarding to close out the fiscal year with a balanced budget and record subscription sales. This would not be possible without the support of thousands of patrons and significant support from Erie County."

A review of sales, attendance and educational program statistics also showed positive trends. Among them:

• Attendance for the BPO's 112 concerts was 185,955 compared to 172,955 last year, an increase of 7.5 percent.

In all, 99,111 people attended BPO concerts at Kleinhans Music Hall.

• BPO Youth concerts reached 38,794 students grades K-12 throughout the eight counties of Western New York.

• Ticket sales for the year totaled $3,050,000, up from $2,829,000 last year, an increase of 7.8 percent.

• Subscription sales reached $1,778,000 from $1,592,000 last year, an increase of 11.6 percent.

• The number of subscribers was 6,727 compared to 6,077 last year, an increase of 10.6 percent.

• Single ticket revenue rose to $1,272,000 from $1,237,000 last year, an increase 2.8 percent.

"From an artistic standpoint, the 2011-2012 season was a tremendous success," said JoAnn Falletta, music director. "We were able to bring in leading artists such as Joshua Bell and Idina Menzel. Through concerts such as violinist Mark O'Connor's improvised concerto and the two-week Duke Ellington Festival, we continued to stretch artistically and give our audiences a chance to grow with us."

"Our release of four new recordings further cemented our fast-growing reputation as one of the most frequently recorded orchestras in the country. We're eager to carry this resounding success forward into the 2012-2013 season."

Two fundraising challenges took place during the 2011-2012 season. The Louis P. Ciminelli Family Foundation agreed to match all new estate gifts to the orchestra, resulting in more than $500,000 in new gifts for the endowment.

The Baird Foundation Challenge kicked off the 2011-2012 annual fund campaign with a dollar-to-dollar match of gifts, up to $100,000. Nearly $125,000 came in because of this challenge. Overall, contributions were up 2.2 percent to $5.4 million.

Also, with the new fiscal year, Louis Ciminelli, LPCiminelli Inc. chairman, was named the chair of the board of trustees of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, replacing Cindy Abbott Letro, whose two-year term ended.

Ciminelli is a longtime BPO trustee.

Other officers named were Donald Ogilvie, vice chair; Randall Odza, secretary; and Stephen Swift, treasurer. Arthur Cryer and Martha Hydewere elected as new members to the board while Karen Arrison and Angelo Fatta each were elected to new terms.

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