Honolulu Symphony files for liquidation

Brien Matson
Brien Matson
Jonathan Parrish
Jonathan Parrish

By Ben Gutierrez - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Symphony Society announced that it has decided to convert its current Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization filing to Chapter 7 to liquidate the organization.

The Symphony Society Board of Directors voted unanimously to convert the filing at a special meeting Thursday night. Papers seeking the conversion were filed in Bankruptcy Court Friday.

"We sincerely wish we had another message today; over the last year, we worked tirelessly to find a solution that would avoid liquidating. However, we are charged with fiscal responsibility and have no other option," said Kimberly Miyazawa Frank, Chair of the Honolulu Symphony Society, in a release issued Friday night.

The two voting board members from the musicians union were not invited to the meeting, but they were not surprised by the decision.

"Well, it's certainly disappointing after many musicians have invested decades of their lives and their careers in the Honolulu Symphony and serving Hawaii as musicians," said Symphony musician Jonathan Parrish, who heads the musicians' union orchestra committee.

The Honolulu Symphony hasn't played a concert since October 2009. The Symphony Society filed for Chapter 11 reorganization almost exactly a year ago. Last July, the two sides were unable to agree on a new contract. The Symphony Society claimed the musicians had resigned from the symphony to form a new orchestra.

Musicians say that was not true in July, but creating a new organization may now be an option.

"Well, I wouldn't say 'R.I.P. a symphony,'" said Musicians Union President Brien Matson. "I don't know about the Honolulu Symphony itself, the name itself. But there are still musicians here, and obviously there's community interest in a symphony."

"We think that this provides an opportunity for new leadership with a real vision of what a professional symphony orchestra is, to come forward and finally produce that for the community," Parrish said.

The papers seek the conversion to take effect on December 31. A bankruptcy court hearing on the request is scheduled for Monday.

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