COLUMBUS (TDB) -- Culture now takes a back seat to college football in Ohio's state capital, which seems to be living down to its low-brow reputation. Financial problems have become so acute at the Columbus Symphony Orchestra that it is sacking nearly half the full-time musicians and may downsize to a chamber orchestra. Columbus is Ohio's largest city, having outgrown its economically troubled sisters Cleveland and Cincinnati in the past 30 years. But both Cleveland and Cincinnati still maintain excellent orchestras and have deep commitments to supporting and patronizing the arts -- and football. Columbus may be the seat of state government, but it still looks like a cultural cowtown. Or Sahara of the Bozart.
Public broadcasting's WOSU has details about the orchestra's downsizing in Columbus:
"Now the Symphony board has decided to terminate 22 of 53 full-time musicians. Doug Fisher, a long-time CSO bassoonist and president of the local musicians' union says the news is discouraging. 'There isn't a single orchestra is this country that has ever solved its problems by firing 40% of the players,' Fisher says. 'It makes absolutely no sense to me that that's what they want to do.' The orchestra ended last season with a $2.2 million deficit. That shortfall cleaned out what was left of the orchestra's financial reserves."
H/T Columbus RetroMetro, which spotted the news.