Nashville Symphony Improves Operating Results for Third Consecutive Year

November 12, 2015

Executive Summary: Nashville Symphony FY 2015 Audit

The Nashville Symphony today released its financial audit for FY 2015, which revealed that the organization reduced its operating loss for the third straight year (to below $1 million) while continuing to grow contributions, cash position and program revenues.

“While we all recognize that there is still plenty of work left to be done, we are buoyed by the results of the latest audit,” said Alan D. Valentine, president and CEO. “These positive numbers affirm the tremendous support that we have received from the Nashville community in recent years and validate the hard work taking place at every level of our organization to restore the Nashville Symphony to full financial vitality.”

A recap of the Nashville Symphony’s FY 2015 audit is below:

Highlights for FY 2015 (the 12 months ended July 31, 2015 - audited)

  • Another clean audit opinion this year. For the past three years (FY13, FY14 and FY15), our auditors have issued a clean opinion.
  • Operating loss before debt service dramatically improved by $1.7 million, or 55%, from $2.4 million in FY14 to $ 732,181 in FY15. The $1.7 million improvement came from the following areas:
    • Annual fundraising and operating support increased 10.5%, from $6 million in FY14 to $6.6 million in FY15.
    • Transfers from endowments (annual earnings distributions) were up by $.5 million.
    • Ticket sales were up 3%, or $300K from $8.7 million in FY14 to $9.0 million in FY15.
    • Event business gross profit was up $300K, or 44% over FY14.
  • Cash position increased by $1 million, from $8.1 million to $9.1 million.
  • Debt paid down by $650,000, from $22.6 million to $21.9 million, or 2.9% 

More Highlights for 2015 (unaudited)

  • Earned revenue represented 54 percent of the annual budget, industry average for other top American orchestras is 32 percent.
  • 870 free Education and Community Engagement programs offered, totaling more than 140,000 service hours and reaching more than 80,000 children and adults in Middle Tennessee.
  • 36,000 ticket buyers, more than half of them first-time visitors.
  • GRAMMY® nomination for Naxos recording of Roberto Sierra’s Sinfonía No. 4.
  • Three internationally distributed recordings released on Naxos.
  • Three world premieres at Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Current Year Trends for 2016, as of September 30, 2015

  • Ticket sales are budgeted at $9.975 million – we are on pace to achieve it.
  • Annual fundraising is budgeted at $7.8 million – we are on pace to reach it.
  • The addition of concerts at the Ascend Amphitheater will add another venue for our orchestra. We begin playing concerts there this summer.
  • Concert fill rates have increased to 81% this year – up from 75% in 2014.
  • We have planned for a 6.4% increase in our number of concerts this year.