The Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

In Monday’s (11/27) Crain’s Chicago Business, Judith Crown writes, “The pandemic was daunting for all performing arts organizations, but the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has bounced back better than most…. With $22.1 million in ticket sales for the 2023 fiscal year … the organization is close to pre-pandemic levels. Paid attendance of 270,000 was up 29% from 2022, but is slightly below 2019…. Jeff Alexander, president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association, and Chief Financial Officer Stacie Frank discussed the post-pandemic landscape…. Alexander: We’re building our way back. We have the same revenue as five years ago, but expenses have gone up every year. So, that’s the budget challenge…. Frank: Donor support helped us through [the pandemic]. We leaned on our endowment more heavily. And we benefited from $10 million through the Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program. Alexander: We reduced compensation in a range of 5% to 25%. We’re glad we did it that way. When things started opening up again and we had to produce concerts, it would have been hard to hire new people. The orchestra members took a 40% pay reduction. By January 2022, we were back at 100% pay.”