Chicago Symphony Increases Attendance, Revenue; Endowment Breaks $200 Million

Classic Arts News   Chicago Symphony Increases Attendance, Revenue; Endowment Breaks $200 Million
At the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's 115th annual meeting on October 12, the orchestra's board and administration revealed that ticket sales, subscription renewals and fund-raising are all strong and the deficit has been reduced, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Among the positive statistics for the 2005-2006 season: revenue from ticket sales for all Symphony Center events increased by 9.6% to $20.2 million; paid attendance reached 85% of capacity (an increase of more than 3% from the previous season) and the first significant increase since 2001; and subscription renewals reached 86%, the highest rate in a decade, according to the paper.

The CSO also saw financial contributions to the annual fund grow by nearly 4% to $17.9 million, while an additional $14 million was raised for the endowment and special funds, according to the Sun-Times.

The orchestra also reduced its projected million-dollar deficit for the 2006 fiscal year to $737,000 on operating expenses of $56.3 million. The endowment, meanwhile, rose to more than $200 million for the first time in the CSO's history, reaching $202 million, according to the paper.

Outgoing board chairman William H. Strong, who is managing director and vice chairman of investment banking at Morgan Stanley, and CSO Association president Deborah R. Card said the numbers indicate that the orchestra should be able to meet its five-year goal of reaching a balanced budget this season, according to the Sun-Times.

Strong, who was succeeded at the meeting as board chairman by William A. Osborn, chairman and chief executive officer of Northern Trust Corp., will continue in his capacity as chairman of the music director search committee responsible for finding a replacement for Daniel Barenboim, who gave his last concert with the CSO on June 17, according to the paper.

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