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Symphonic Summer

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It has to be noted that there's more good news than bad news this time. The bad news comes from the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, which almost went bankrupt six years ago, and again needs to cover nearly $200.000 in order to keep going. They have asked the public for help and the board has agreed to match every $40.000 with the same amount out of their own pockets, but in times like these that still looks like a hard job.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra finished the season on a high and up to $100.000 in surplus. This excellent story hides two important facts, though. Firstly, the Orchestra was $892.000 into the red last year. And secondly, most of the gains can be attributed to the dedication of the Andrew W Mellon Foundation, who is once again spending more than a million dollars on the Symphony over the next three years. Importantly, though, this money will be spent to tackle fundamental problems by organising marketing campaigns aimed at new target groups.

Had enough of all those numbers? Us too! So let's stay with the good news and tell you how the Minnesota Orchestra managed to win over the audience: By having a good idea and by perseverance. Their Viennese Summerfest turned the traditionally dried-up summer season into a blossoming garden of the arts, gave new genres, such as improvised Opera a chance and balanced popular favourites and Chamber music for a diverse and tasty program. Andrew Litton, director of the Orchestra sums up the organisational credo: "I don't program thinking, 'This will get them back in the winter,' but if someone walks out thinking, 'I want more of this,' they know where to get it" It's an important lesson to be learned: Even the troubled Symphnonics can walk tall.

Source: The Syracuse Symphonic Orchestra at syracuse.com
Source: The New Jersey Symphonic Orchestra at The Star-Ledger
Source: The Minenesota Orchestra at Twincities.com

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