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Tulsa Philharmonic cancels season

Updated:

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ The Tulsa Philharmonic's 2002-03 season has come to a disharmonious end, canceled amid debt and doubts about the orchestra's future.

The announcment came on the orchestra's Internet site.

``Basically, this season is a wash,'' said Dr. Gordon Lantz, president of the Philharmonic's board of directors. ``We don't have a basic agreement to work with the musicians, so we can't realistically go on with the season.''

The 54-year-old Philharmonic, Oklahoma's only full-time professional orchestra, is $1 million in debt.

Its phones have been disconnected, its offices shuttered. Musicians say they've been left in the dark about their future.

``We learned about the cessation of the musicians' health and dental insurance when some musicians received their bills from doctor and dentist visits made in November and December,'' said Rick Wagner, musicians spokesman.

A task force formed by Mayor Bill LaFortune is looking for solutions to the Philharmonic's financial troubles. It's scheduled to meet Monday.

But Lantz said the Philharmonic board is working separately to ``preserve orchestral music in Tulsa.''

``We're working internally to solve our problems, to deal with our debt in a positive way, without bankruptcy,'' he said. ``If we were going to do a bankruptcy, we would have already done it by now.''

Ticketholders to the orchestra's Pops and Masterworks concerts learned from the Web site they would have the option of donating their tickets as tax-deductible contributions.

``Funds are not available for refunds,'' the site read.
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