The orchestra’s yearly subsidy has remained at the same level for the past 13 years


Berlin Philharmonic general manager Martin Hoffmann is calling for an increase in government subsidy for his orchestra. In an interview with German business publication Handelsblatt, Hoffmann claims the BPO’s public subsidy has not increased in 13 years and that the orchestra’s money-saving options are now exhausted. Rises in costs throughout the last decade now mean that the organisation is unable to pay some of its employees a living wage.

The BPO currently earns 64 per cent of its budget through its own resources and Hoffmann now insists that finding the additional funds to cover its rising costs is an impossibility; ticket prices, for example, are already at the limit of what audiences are willing and able to pay.

Hoffmann hopes his appeal to Berlin Mayor Michael Müller will not fall on deaf ears: ‘I am confident that Mr Müller knows the global significance of the Philharmonic and its incredible advertising effect,’ he said.

The Berlin Philharmonic is currently performing a series of concerts at London's Barbican and Southbank Centre under principal conductor Sir Simon Rattle. The conductor discusses the orchestra’s celebrated string sound in The Strad’s April issue, out in March.

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