Bank Set to Foreclose on Nashville Symphony's Concert Hall

Friday, June 07, 2013 - 09:00 AM

Foreclosure proceedings have started against the financially troubled Nashville Symphony Orchestra, which owes more than $80 million in debt related to the construction of its home, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

If the orchestra is unable to repay or renegotiate the debt, their only option to avoid losing the building would be bankruptcy. An auction of the concert hall is currently scheduled for June 28.

The Schermerhorn, a neoclassical "shoebox" theater, opened with a great flourish in 2006 at a cost of $123.5 million. It celebrated its reopening less than three years ago after major flood damage in 2010.

The Nashville Symphony suffered an $11.7 million loss in the fiscal year ending July 31, 2012, as its revenue plunged by more than 50 percent to $21.5 million, reports The Tennessean. During the three previous years the orchestra's expenses have exceeded revenue by $39 million.

The orchestra has defaulted on payments due for its $102 million bond, the bulk of which was put up by Bank of America.

"The bank group has been in discussions for some time with the orchestra to help it resolve its financial issues," a spokeswoman for the bank tells The Tennessean. "However, [the Nashville Symphony] is in default and has been unwilling or unable to repay the debt. Left with no other alternative the bank group has been forced to file for foreclosure."

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Comments [3]

Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Like Nashville,the disastrous financialsituation in Greece is a sad situation for it involves all individuals and companies and marginalizes even educational and cultural activities. When culture is considered unimportant there is little hope for a motivated enlightened people. Today's uncertain economic future and the current governmental takeover of the airwaves and the print media favoring cutbacks will inevitably cause huge confrontations with the populace. The status quo will collapse and leave open the control by an organized group that will destroy any democratic movement. We have seen such a development many times. History repeats itself. I repeat what I have said before. the dilemma is that the circumstances are not likely to improve any day soon.

Jun. 17 2013 10:06 AM
Lester Leclerq

The bank probably has set a high minimum bid. Selling this place at auction for $15,000,000.37 is still going to leave the symphony on the hook for the balance of the loan. And without a hall to play in, how will they raise money to make those payments? The only out for this situation is for the bank to forgive a large portion (64%) of the debt with a large donor or two writing checks to pay the balance. Otherwise everybody loses and this lovely little castle will become a hamburger stand.

Jun. 10 2013 05:28 PM
David from Flushing

This should serve as a warning that building a new concert hall in no way insures the viability of orchestras. The basic problem is demographic and there seems to be no solution to it. I am not certain what one does with a foreclosed concert hall except to rent it back to the orchestra.

Jun. 09 2013 11:08 AM

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