Palma.—The future of the 74-strong orchestra is in doubt after all three of the main local authorities announced severe cutbacks to their funding for this year.

The Balearic government is cutting its funding by 10 percent , although the Minister for Culture is on their side and has given his word he will do everything he can to ensure the orchestra survives.

But, the axe is more or less being wielded by Palma City Council and the Council of Majorca which have announced they are slashing their funding to the orchestra by a massive 32 and 37 percent respectively.

Quite simply, that means the orchestra's budget is going to be cut by a massive total of 79 percent and, if the budgets are approved, then this could mean the death of the orchestra.

And this is why the musicians have decided to launch a campaign to stay alive.
A Facebook campaign called “Tots amb l´Orquestra Simfònica de Balears, tots amb la cultura” (“Support the Balearic Symphony Orchestra, support the arts”, has been launched and under that slogan, the complete orchestra will this afternoon be performing a free half hour concert in front of the Town Hall in Palma in an attempt to increase public awareness of their plight and also increase the pressure on the Council of Majorca and Palma City Council.

British-born bass player. Philip Dawson, who has played for the orchestra for the past ten years, along with his wife, said yesterday that the orchestra is quite simply broke. “The last administration did not give us too much help, in fact we've been missing some six musicians for the past three years, and now we're facing ruin if they go ahead and slash our budgets by this amount. “The winter series of chamber concerts was cancelled and during the winter we perform 16 concerts as well as playing with the ballet and opera when they come to town. “On the one hand the authorities talk about wanting to boost winter tourism and attract top end tourists, well we are exactly what those kinds of visitors want and expect, to see. “The orchestra is a jewel and should be promoted as such. In Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia, there are posters of their orchestras at the airport and information about what and when they are performing. “The authorities are just biting the hand that feeds them by treating the orchestra like this. There is so much they could do to promote the island by using the orchestra, especially for winter tourism. “Over the years, the international community has been so supportive and we all hope that many people turn out this afternoon to enjoy a free performance which will include pieces from Bizet's Carmen,” Dawson said. “The orchestra is a small tight knit community with musicians from 24 different countries and we're now making ourselves available to perform small chamber concerts in hospital, residential homes and the prison, so if you want us to play, just get in touch. And if you want us to survive then come along this afternoon,” he added.

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