“Even as it posted a significant deficit and dips in certain types of fundraising,” writes Zachary Lewis in Tuesday’s (12/5) Plain Dealer (Cleveland), the Cleveland Orchestra’s 2017 annual report “also reported continued strong attendance, vigorous philanthropy and its largest endowment to date. ‘It’s a mixed bag,’ said André Gremillet, the orchestra’s executive director.… The deficit swelled 75 percent [from the previous year], to $4.2 million…. Gremillet said three factors contributed to the shortfall: a decline of $383,000 in Annual Fund giving, a drop of $551,000 in ‘special’ fundraising and, most significantly, a loss of major gifts in support of the orchestra’s Miami residency … reduced [earlier this year] from four weekends to two…. The endowment, by contrast, is on a favorable trajectory…. As of June 30, the fund was worth $192.2 million, an historic high…. Average attendance at Severance Hall remained at last year’s near-record high of 1,550 per concert…. At any given Cleveland Orchestra concert, college students now comprise 20 percent of the audience…. General subscriptions, too, are on the rise. ‘They want to come and see what we do,’ said Ross Binnie, the orchestra’s chief brand officer, pointing to the group’s successful Student Advantage Program and ‘Under 18s Free’ offer.”

Posted December 7, 2017

Pictured: Severance Hall, home of the Cleveland Orchestra. Photo by Erik Drost