In an extensive front-page story on Friday’s (10/4) Jacksonville Business Journal (subscription required), reporter John Burr covers developments at Florida’s Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. “Recent financial trends for the symphony have been encouraging. Donations are up 11 percent, and classical music ticket sales jumped 20 percent last year. Further, the symphony staff is committed to new approaches to ticket sales and fundraising, which could, if successful, be adopted by other symphonies.… While there is heavy lifting ahead, and the results are far from guaranteed, there is a new-found sense of optimism.… Fingers crossed, said new Executive Director David Pierson, the symphony’s operating budget will break even after the 2013-2014 season, which opened with Thursday night’s Masterworks concert. That’s important to more than classical music lovers: Business leaders say the survival of the Jacksonville Symphony is critical to bolstering the city’s cultural offerings, which, in turn, are important to attracting high-paying, sophisticated businesses to town.” In addition to Pierson, those quoted in the article include Henry Fogel, former president of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and of the League of American Orchestras, who worked as a mediator with management and musicians; Peter Wright, the symphony’s union local president and principal clarinet; and Toni Paz, the orchestra’s vice president of marketing and development.

Posted October 8, 2013