The Rochester Philharmoic Orchestra started this season with a serious funding gap. In fact, the R.P.O. had to restructure the season to save cash, "the first responsibility for a board of directors is to raise the money necessary to keep the musical program going," said long time R.P.O. member Richard Rosen.
Some donors are making their voices heard by closing their checkbooks, "I know several large donors who have already reduced their giving," explained long time R.P.O. member Eugene VanVoorhis.
It's a moral dilemma, continue supporting an organization which has made a decision some donors are firmly against, or stop donating and risk the future of an orchestra they love, "I think it would be a terrible thing for it to happen because we have a wonderful orchestra," said R.P.O. member Betty Bird. Rosen added, "the R.P.O. is too important for them, but I think that the pressure on the board will become insufferable and more of them will resign."
The maestro has made it clear that he's fighting for his job, and that is going to cost money that the R.P.O. may, or may not, have, "we're working as hard as we can to deal with this as effectively and as quickly as we can, and as cost effectively," explained Mark Berry, Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the R.P.O., "of course there are costs incurred when you have to go into this uncomfortable negotiation that Arild put himself into, but we're working to really make this as painless financially for the organization as we possibly can."
Berry says the R.P.O. raised $185,000 more in the 2012 annual campaign than in 2011. He says a number of people have incresed their donations since news of Remmerit's termination broke.