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ARTS NOTES

Orchestra ends up in the black

August 03, 2003|Diane Haithman

While the orchestra world has been counting its casualties during the last two years -- the Florida Philharmonic filed for bankruptcy this year, and symphony orchestras have recently failed in San Jose; New York; Washington, D.C.; Colorado Springs, Colo.; Savannah, Ga.; San Antonio; and other cities -- the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra managed to end its fiscal year 2003 with an unexpected surplus of $70,000 above its $2.3-million operating budget.

Executive Director Ruth Eliel attributes the orchestra's luck to conservative budgeting, the elimination of two staff positions -- one by attrition -- and two highly successful fundraisers: a concert gala in January at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel (raising $178,000) and the 14th annual Silent Film Gala at UCLA's Royce Hall ($163,000). The latter, chaired this year by Dustin Hoffman, has proved a big draw for industry heavyweights.

-- Diane Haithman

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