Symphony curtain call ends trying year for musicians

Honolulu Symphony
Honolulu Symphony
Jonathan Parrish
Jonathan Parrish
Honolulu Symphony
Honolulu Symphony

By Jim Mendoza - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The sound of a well-played melody is the siren song for many classical musicians.

"It sort of chooses you and you realize this is what I want to do with my life. This is what I need to do," French horn player Jonathan Parrish said.

For twelve years, Parrish met his needs through the Honolulu Symphony.

But the year leading up to Monday's bankruptcy liquidation ruling put a financial strain on the orchestra's 84 members.

"For every musician there's a different story of how they've been coping," Parrish said.

Some left Hawaii. Others stayed, piecemealing incomes and hoping the symphony would be saved.

To pay his bills Parrish took on more music students.

"We've certainly had to be more cautious with our spending," he said. "But there have been additional expenses beyond the loss of income. Our health insurance was canceled last year as well."

Bankruptcy liquidation requires the symphony's assets be auctioned. It includes a vast music library, one-of-a-kind arrangements, and a collection of instruments.

"We have Hawaiian instruments and Asian instruments that we've accumulated over years of doing the repertoire that's specific to this orchestra by virtue of our location," Parrish said.

The proceeds will go to creditors.

But Parrish is confident the orchestra will reappear.

"If you look at other orchestras that have gone through either a chapter 11 reorganization or chapter 7 liquidation, virtually all of them have been reincarnated. - and most of them bigger and better than they were before," he said.

For now, the sound of music is the sound of silence.  Parrish and the other Honolulu Symphony musicians know that one by heart.

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