The Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra has said adios to its six-city tour in Spain next May.
The trip was canceled last week after several concert halls dropped out of the tour, partly due to the lack of government funding and the falling value of the euro.
“We are heartbroken that it is not coming to fruition and we did everything in our power to keep it going,” said Amy Adkins, symphony president and CEO. “However, we don’t have control over the Spanish economy, and we are victim to the disastrous conditions that are occurring there in Spain.”
The tour, organized by Spanish arts management Conciertos Augusto, would have been the orchestra’s first international tour in more than 25 years and included dates at concert halls in Alicante, Madrid, Murcia, Oviedo, Vitoria-Gasteiz and Zaragoza. The tour also was to feature violinist Midori, under the direction of FWSO Music Director Miguel Harth-Bedoya. (Midori is scheduled to play with the FWSO May 13-15 at Bass Hall.)
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We don’t have control over the Spanish economy, and we are victim to the disastrous conditions that are occurring there in Spain.
FWSO president and CEO Amy Adkins
The symphony had received a $25,000 grant from the Fort Worth Promotion and Development Fund for the trip. Adkins said it would return the funds now that the tour has been canceled. While it also had pledges from several donors to fund the trip, it had not yet received the money, she said.
Adkins said the tour would have cost about $1.2 million and the symphony was responsible for about half of the funding. The other half was from presenter fees, including the 30,000-euro fee from each city. Since the symphony began organizing the tour almost 18 months ago, the exchange rate has dropped to where the fee is only valued at about $31,000, down from $41,000.
As a result, the decision was made that the tour was no longer financially viable, Adkins said. The orchestra’s board of directors and the musicians were told last week that the tour was canceled.
Orchestra management and its musicians union are currently in contract talks, but Adkins said the Spain tour cancellation was not related to the negotiations. Management has proposed cutting three paid weeks, while the union has asked for raises after it took a pay cut in 2010. The three-year contract expired over the summer.