Music Director Manfred Honeck leads the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

In Thursday’s (12/28) Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Jeremy Reynolds writes, “In recent years, subscriptions to entertainment sites like Netflix and HBO have gone through the roof, catalyzed by the COVID lockdowns. But the pandemic has had the opposite effect for fine arts organizations, which have seen sharp reductions in subscriptions as audience behaviors change. It’s becoming a problem for orchestras and theater and opera companies nationwide that have relied on a subscription model for decades. Subscriptions guarantee regular income and attendance…. The pandemic completely detonated audience behavior patterns…. In Pittsburgh, despite positive attendance numbers in the spring and fall, 2023 brought mixed news for arts organizations … [At] several of the city’s larger organizations, including the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, … single ticket sales are increasing, but not fast enough to cover the decrease in subscriptions…. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s … classical subscriptions overall are down about 5% since the pandemic. On the bright side, the pops series, which features a variety of non-classical genres, averaged about 1,625, a 7% bump from last year, and both subscriptions and single ticket purchases are increasing. Overall, the symphony is down only 9% across the season from pre-COVID attendance.”