Nashville Symphony Reaches Deal To Avoid Foreclosure - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Nashville Symphony Reaches Deal To Avoid Foreclosure

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Nashville Symphony has reached a deal with creditors to avoid bankruptcy and prevent the sale of its Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

On Monday, Nashville Symphony Association board treasurer Kevin Crumbo said the organization reached a settlement to eliminate commercial bank debt of more than $80 million for a lump-sum payment of an undisclosed amount. He said the symphony's only long-term debt will be a $20 million note payable to a local philanthropist.

A spokesman for Martha R. Ingram identified her as the philanthropist but did not know the details of the financial arrangements.

The bank debt was related to a $102 million bond issued in 2004 to finance the organization's symphony hall.

Bank of America had begun foreclosure proceedings on the symphony center and scheduled an auction for Friday.

"We are pleased that we have been able to reach this agreement with the Nashville Symphony so that it can continue to play its vital and unique role in this community for generations to come," said John Stein, Nashville market president for Bank of America. "It is because we all recognize the orchestra's importance to this community that we were all able to come together and work so hard to make this happen."

Just last week, it was announced the Symphony laid off their catering and dining staff.

"Over the past few months, the Symphony has taken steps to reduce expenditures, increase revenue and drive contributions in an effort to strengthen its bottom line," said Ed Goodrich, Chairman of the Nashville Symphony Association. "Reaching this agreement with our lenders is a major milestone in our restructuring process. However, the Symphony still has a lot of work to do to further reduce costs and will continue to need significant financial support from our donors in the years ahead to remain sustainable over the long term. We are committed to taking all possible measures to ensure our financial stability, and we are confident that the Middle Tennessee community will rise to the occasion to help this wonderful arts organization survive and thrive."

Mayor Karl Dean said in a statement: "This resolution will allow the Nashville Symphony to remain a vital part of our city's entertainment and cultural scene that the world has come to identify with our name as Music City. I commend and appreciate all the parties involved for the way they have worked to bring about this very positive result. I'm looking forward to another great year of music from the Symphony and the great educational programming they offer to families and children in our community. I also want to say a special word of thanks to the heads of the local banks that were involved for their leadership in this effort."

"Throughout the course of these negotiations, we have been fully committed to serving everyone in Middle Tennessee with a dynamic array of programs, both at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center and in the community," said Alan Valentine, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Nashville Symphony. "On behalf of everyone at the Symphony, I want to thank our patrons and donors for their unwavering support throughout the negotiation process. Their continued loyalty and generosity will be more important than ever as the Symphony moves forward."

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)

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