KITV.com, the Honolulu ABC affiliate, reports that the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra (HSO) may be planning to shift from reorganization to liquidation bankruptcy as early as next month. The HSO announced plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in November, 2009 and a full year later it looks like they may dissolve the institution and liquidate all assets…
The current HSO leadership failed to meet an October 15, 2010 deadline to present a reorganization plan but more than a month later, the plan has yet to materialize. We examined the pros and cons of Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the context of the HSO’s situation last December but what was an academic exercise is now very real.
The KITV report includes an interview with HSO musician spokesperson Jonathan Parrish, who expressed concern over what will happen to the organization’s assets. In particular, the music library which according to his statement, includes a number of one-of-a-kind compositions and arrangements by the orchestra’s long time pops conductor Matt Catingub.
Parrish indicated the musicians are hopeful that if the HSO does liquidate, it will make room for someone else to step in and create a new orchestra. This certainly isn’t an unusual result although there are no guarantees either. One of the more notable examples where that option produced favorable results was when the former Colorado Springs Symphony Orchestra (CSSO) filed Chapter 7 but musicians and a faction of CSSO stakeholders worked together alongside local philanthropic leaders to form the Colorado Springs Philharmonic the very next season.
There is no word from the musicians on whether or not they are looking to that example as a contingency plan or if they are working with any local leaders to explore other options. You can watch the entire KITV television report at YouTube (sorry, no embedding allowed).