NEW DETAILS: Lorenz CEO assures composers they will be paid

The chief executive of Lorenz Corp. -- the historic Dayton sheet music publisher which filed for bankruptcy protection Wednesday -- is assuring composers who work with the company they will be paid royalties they are due.

In an email to colleagues obtained by the Dayton Daily News, Reiff Lorenz, the company’s CEO, said the company is filing for bankruptcy protection through a legal avenue known as Subchapter 5, which became law last year. The provision makes Chapter 11 bankruptcy re-organization accessible to smaller businesses -- some of whom are sometimes are too small to reorganize under Chapter 11.

In the email, Lorenz described Subchapter 5 as “a fast-track way for small businesses to continue their missions, under the same management and ownership, despite the terrible conditions.

ExploreDayton’s historic Lorenz Corp. files for bankruptcy protection

“One of the requirements of standard bankruptcy that applies to Subchapter V is to send notifications to anyone who has been paid by the company in the past year, even if no money is currently owed. This means you will be getting a bankruptcy notice. It does NOT mean you won’t be paid,” the email from Lorenz also says.

The company has ended the lease on its Nashville office, the email stated.

“This isn’t the year that any of us thought it would be,” Lorenz said. “We’re all facing challenges that we had not contemplated before 2020. With all that is going on in the music industry, I’m sending you this detailed update on what’s happening at Lorenz Corporation.”

The Dayton company has more than 20,000 musical works as products and employs about 70 employees in Dayton and 15 Nashville.

The business works with composers, edits, records demos, prints sheet music, designs cover art, warehouses, and distributes to churches, schools and retailers.

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Another email, from Kris Kropff, Lorenz’ president of music publishing, says: “I am writing today, and calling on every bit of personal credibility I have, to assure you that despite how dramatic it sounds, it (filing for bankruptcy protection) is a surprisingly perfunctory business thing.”

All composers and authors who typically receive royalty distributions in late summer have already been paid, and Lorenz is committed to making December payments, as well, the message from Reiff Lorenz says.

“You have entrusted us with your creative work and we won’t let your earnings get caught up in our COVID-induced administrative actions,” Lorenz said in his email.

“Music isn’t just a business to us. It’s a mission,” he said in the email. “Despite the difficult conditions, reduced staff, and cut budgets we are working hard to promote your products and generate future royalties.”

An email was sent to Lorenz seeking comment. Lorenz’ Dayton attorney in the bankruptcy filing declined to comment Thursday.

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