Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Philadelphia Orchestra President Compensation Disclosed

Philadelphia Orchestra president and CEO Allison B. Vulgamore was being paid an annual salary of $450,000 as of the middle of January. In addition, she received executive retirement benefits of $125,000; supplemental disability insurance of about $15,000 (on top of other regular benefits); a car allowance of $5,000, and a financial planning allowance of $2,000. Plus, reserved parking at the Kimmel Center.

Philadelphia Orchestra President Compensation Disclosed

Philadelphia Orchestra president and CEO Allison B. Vulgamore was being paid an annual salary of $450,000 as of the middle of January. In addition, she received executive retirement benefits of $125,000; supplemental disability insurance of about $15,000 (on top of other regular benefits); a car allowance of $5,000, and a financial planning allowance of $2,000. Plus, reserved parking at the Kimmel Center.

The total $597,000 in compensation puts her well above the amount earned by her predecessors in the job.

The compensation - listed last week in court documents relating to the orchestra's chapter 11 petition - was lower than Vulgamore was entitled to under the terms of her contract. She had been scheduled to receive $475,000 that year plus a bonus, "resulting in a total voluntary reduction in the amount of approximately 20 percent,” the court filing states.

It is not clear from the document whether the 20 percent reduction relates to the $450,000 figure, or the $597,000.

An orchestra spokeswoman did not respond to questions relating to Vulgamore's compensation and the terms of her bonus and contract, which, at its signing, was a two-year deal set to expire this January. She did, however, release a statement from orchestra chairman Richard B. Worley:

"We're very fortunate to have someone as talented as Allison Vulgamore to guide us through this challenging period. During her tenure she has demonstrated incredible leadership as our CEO - attracting world class talent such as Yannick, developing a visionary strategic plan for the next five years and beyond, stabilizing attendance, cultivating donors and giving all of us the confidence we need as we look to the future. When she informed us that she wouldn't accept the $25,000 salary increase guaranteed in her contract, I was impressed. Additionally, she told us that she would decline the variable compensation that her contract entitled her to. All told, this is approximately twenty percent less than her contract calls for. Her commitment to the Orchestra is clear and I am delighted to have her as our leader."

Addition: Worley called after this post to explain that Vulgamore's 20 percent reduction was something she suggested; her bonus, theoretical at this point, would have been decided on from within a range of potential figures; and that since she did not take the bonus, the 20 percent total reduction is an estimated figure based on not taking the extra $25,000, plus not taking what her bonus would have been had it been calculated at the mid range.

Worley said Vulgamore arrived at the 20 percent figure since that was the percentage of the cut musicians were being asked to accept. That cut, however, has not been determined, since contract talks with musicians have not concluded.

Peter Dobrin Inquirer Classical Music Critic
About this blog

Peter Dobrin is a classical music critic and culture writer for The Inquirer. Since 1989, he has written music reviews, features, news and commentary for the paper, covering such topics as the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Venice Biennale, expansion of the Curtis Institute of Music, the Philadelphia Orchestra's bankruptcy declaration in 2011, Philadelphia's evolving performing arts center and the general health of arts and culture.

Dobrin was a French horn player. He earned an undergraduate degree in performance from the University of Miami, and received a master's degree in music criticism from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Elliott Galkin. He has no time to practice today.

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