Mayor, symphony musicians sound off on financial trouble at Schermerhorn

Mayor, symphony musicians sound off on financial trouble at Schermerhorn (Image 1)

Mayor Karl Dean and Nashville Symphony musicians sounded off Friday about the financially troubled Schermerhorn Center being put on the auction block.

In a release Friday labeled as a “statement from the musicians of the Nashville Symphony Orchestra,” the group addressed the scheduled June 28 public auction of the Schermerhorn by saying, “Such hardball is absurd.”

The symphony musicians question what they termed “the hundreds of thousands of dollars being pulled out in fistful to compensate administrators, attorney, accountants and turn around experts appointed, employed or otherwise engaged to ‘save' the Schermerhorn.

Why does it take such a show and such an expense of valuable funds when what is needed to solve this problem are a few caring and compassionate business people and a banker or two who understand and appreciate the value and the economic impact of the Nashville Symphony , the Schermerhorn and culture to Nashville?”

The musicians went on to say, “Please sit down and solve this problem,” which essentially boils down to more than $82 million still owed to a bank group on the 2006 construction of the Schermerhorn.

Mayor Dean sounded a theme similar to the musicians Friday when repeated his refrain for all sides “to consider the use of one of our city's fine mediators. Simply stated, I sincerely hope you will employ all efforts to avoid litigation.”

The mayor told Nashville's News 2 today the symphony “is a big part of our cultural life, so its important that people think of the greater good and come to an agreement.”

The flurry of statements did not stop there with a representative of Bank of America saying that the Nashville Symphony was in “default” and “left with no other alternative the bank group has been forced to file for foreclosure, always a last resort. At the same time, we continue to be in discussions with the Symphony.”

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