Audience members in front of Davies Symphony Hall, home of the San Francisco Symphony.

In Wednesday’s (7/3) New York Times, Robin Pogrebin writes that on a recent evening, “music lovers poured in to Davies Symphony Hall to hear Esa-Pekka Salonen conduct the San Francisco Symphony and into the War Memorial Opera House across the street, where the San Francisco Opera was giving the American premiere of Kaija Saariaho’s ‘Innocence.’ Although attendance at the city’s arts institutions remains down from prepandemic levels—with tourism, hotel occupancy and office attendance yet to fully recover—its cultural ecosystem has been showing signs of inching its way back. Arts organizations around the nation have been struggling to regain audiences since the pandemic, with Broadway attendance about 17 percent lower than before and precipitous declines at many regional theaters, museums, orchestras and opera companies…. Audiences have been returning over the past several years, but are still short of prepandemic levels at many organizations. Some are giving fewer performances. The San Francisco Opera closed its 2023-24 season with 116,719 tickets sold, down from 128,437 in the last full season before the pandemic. The San Francisco Symphony is projecting sales of 283,500 tickets for this season, down from 354,833 the last season before the pandemic, when it gave 26 more concerts…. Arts organizations are trying different methods to build back audience.”