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Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra lost $1.8 M last fiscal year

MILWAUKEE, WI (WTAQ) - The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra lost $1.8 million in its last fiscal year.

Now, the group is looking for ways to sell more tickets and cut costs. 

Orchestra president Mark Niehaus tells the Journal Sentinel that deficits were avoided the past two years because the symphony was given large donations near the end of those terms. 

Niehaus says the organization is quote, "overly reliant on annual contributed income."  He says the orchestra will not reduce its numbers of classical concerts -- and they're not looking at reducing musicians' contracts. 

One concern is that the symphony cannot book a lot of dates in December at the Marcus Center, because it's also used by Broadway touring shows, the Florentine Opera, and the Milwaukee Ballet.

As a result, the orchestra goes to smaller capacity churches to perform its "Messiah" concerts around the holidays.