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Orchestra's finances striking right chord

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The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra is reporting a balanced budget for the last fiscal year, reflecting record season ticket sales and subscription revenues for the third consecutive year. Ticket sales were up 17 percent.BPO Executive Director Daniel Hart said increasing sales of BPO CDs around the world show a rising reputation and there is support for continuing national radio appearances.

Hart said long ago, cuts in full-time musicians aren't affecting quality.

"There's not a problem artistically. It would be good if we could have more string players," Hart said.

"It's not really holding us back. We're basically using a two-tiered system where we're hiring those people. We're still playing with 87 people, 73 full-time, the rest are part-time people that help us out to fill out the ranks."

Hart said the orchestra is pushing hard to build its fiscal base, with the current target for the endowment $50 million and eventually more. Improvements in the stock market pushed the current endowment to $32 million with another $10 million pledged.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.