The back-and-forth over Esa-Pekka Salonen’s contract as Music Director with the San Francisco Symphony continues. After Salonen said he would quit the orchestra at the end of his current contract, the musicians asked the Board to keep him in the position.

Now the orchestra’s leadership explained that the organization has financial challenges. In a statement the Board says the problem is Salonen’s creative vision for the Symphony, which includes international tours, special concerts, commissions and community programs, which the Symphony has cut.

“We would love nothing more than to be able to immediately restore the number of SoundBox performances, semi-staged productions, and new commissions; to resume touring; and to reinstate Concerts for Kids,” the statement reads. “The limiting factor prohibiting us from doing so is not a lack of desire, drive, or ambition. It is solely a lack of immediate financial resources.”

The statement says that the SFO’s expenses exceed its revenue, asserting that in 2022–23, “the Symphony’s operating expenses totaled $78.6 million, while operating revenues, exclusive of extraordinary one-time contributions, totaled just $67.4 million.”

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