There is a historical precedent for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra reducing the number of scheduled performances in times of economic distress ("Tough times for the BSO," Oct. 22).
During the Great Depression, when the orchestra was supported solely by government funds, the appropriation was reduced from $33,000 to $25,000 in 1931 and 1932, and to $23,200 in 1933. Those cuts necessitated a reduction in the number of concerts each year, from six to four.
But the shortened schedule also enabled the orchestra to maintain musicians' salaries and, in fact, to add nine players in 1931. It took eight years to return to appropriation levels within $500 of the 1930 subsidy.
In these similarly distressed economic times, the BSO should consider letting history repeat itself by opting for a reduction in the number of concerts for a few years. That would enable it to balance its budget and, most importantly, to avoid further cuts in musicians' salaries or in the number of players.
Richard A. Disharoon, BaltimoreCopyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times