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Boston Symphony Orchestra lays off 50 full-time administrative staffers

Symphony Hall's box office remained closed earlier this summer.
Symphony Hall's box office remained closed earlier this summer.

The Boston Symphony Orchestra announced Friday that it will lay off a significant portion of the organization’s administrative staff, effective Sept. 1, as a result of massive revenue losses stemming from concert cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The layoffs will affect 50 out of the orchestra’s 180 current full-time administrative employees.

“It is with a heavy heart that we have made some difficult decisions about reducing the organization’s workforce during this unprecedented time of concert cancellations and revenue loss associated with COVID-19,” BSO president and chief executive Mark Volpe said in a statement. “Through this difficult time and the many challenges ahead, we are determined to re-establish the concert-going experience that has inspired generations of audiences to make the BSO an essential and inspiring part of their lives.”

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The layoffs are the latest in a stream of cost-cutting measures designed to help the orchestra weather a prolonged hiatus from live performance, which began in mid-March and will extend through at least late November. In April, the BSO announced temporary pay reductions for unionized musicians and furloughs for 70 full-time staffers. Volpe also took a 50 percent pay reduction through Aug. 31. According to the BSO’s most recent tax filings, he made $995,320 in the fiscal year ending August 2018.

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