The September 2003 donor agreement for the largest gift in the orchestra's history stipulates that the foundation, now based in Los Angeles, could ask for the gift to be returned if the orchestra ever filed for bankruptcy. According to orchestra leaders and others, if the bankruptcy judge decides that claims can be paid out by "invading" the Philadelphia Orchestra and Academy of Music's $140.5 million endowment, the foundation — which has given more than $100 million over several decades to the two institutions — may be more likely to press for the return of its gift.
"We're watching," Annenberg Foundation executive director Leonard Aube told the Inquirer. "Our trustees are voracious readers and are aware of the situation, but there's nothing actionable at this point."
Orchestra president Allison B. Vulgamore said she met with Aube in the fall of 2010 and continued to update the foundation on decisions regarding a possible bankruptcy. "I previewed all of the issues and sought his counsel, and wanted to understand their current thinking," she said. "I think we've been good communicators, we've been thoughtfully engaged with them, and I think they understood the reasons."