Saturday, December 8, 2012
Orchestra Nova closes its doors and has filed a filed a Chapter 7 liquidation bankruptcy case, according to a letter from CEO Beverly Lambert posted on the chamber group's website.
Labor talks between Nova and the local musicians union reached an impasse in September. Nova then canceled its season opening concerts. Artistic director and conductor Jung-Ho Pak then resigned suddenly. Shortly after, Nova leadership canceled the entire season.
The ensemble has been in existence for 28 years.
In the posted letter, CEO Lambert writes:
The financial impact of the protracted union negotiations and concert cancellations was severe...During the months of negotiations, we incurred significant legal fees. Fully believing that we would reach an agreement and deliver our concerts as planned, we invested in season preparation – securing venues, marketing, production, engaging guest artists, etc. In addition to incurring these expenses, our planned fundraising was crippled by the unresolved negotiations and the significant time required of our management in overseeing the negotiations. Without the ability to produce our concerts and to raise funds, we simply could not absorb the financial drain of continued operations.
In a commentary written in October, U-T San Diego music critic Jim Chute teases out the irony in Nova's marketing campaign that prominently features the very same musicians with which the leadership failed to find common ground.
The musicians union provides a statement explaining their side of the labor negotiations here.