The Boston Symphony Orchestra confirmed today that 10 employees are being laid off, from departments including development and public relations. The orchestra and support staff are in transition this week from Boston to Tanglewood, their summer home in the Berkshires, and officials were not available for comment though a statement was issued by BSO managing director Mark Volpe:
"Like other cultural institutions nationwide, the BSO is facing serious challenges due to this past year’s economic downturn, including a substantial decline in the value of the orchestra’s endowment. In the course of confronting these challenges, the BSO found it necessary to reduce its full time work force by 5.3%. The BSO remains committed to maintaining its financial equilibrium, while pursuing its mission as one of the leading orchestras in the world."
The layoffs follow a staff hiring freeze instituted in December 2008 and the cancellation in April of a European tour the BSO had scheduled for 2010.
The 2009 Tanglewood season opens officially on July 3, with James Levine leading the BSO in an all-Tchaikovsky program featuring Yefim Bronfman performing the Piano Concerto No. 1.
--Thomasine Berg, Globe Staff