In the July-August issue of St. Louis Commerce Magazine, Ruth Wood-Steed writes about how the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra “is retaining and growing its traditional classical audiences, while growing others. … However, as recently as 2007 that orchestra was bleeding. There was strife between orchestra and management. Total ticket revenues had fallen 23 percent since 2002. Classical attendance had dropped 19 percent. Annual gifts had fallen 25 percent and annual deficits averaged $3.1 million. … Fred Bronstein arrived in March 2008. Just two months after arriving, Bronstein initiated a year-long strategic planning process. … The SLSO is taking a two-pronged approach, the first being to build audiences, re-invigorate the brand and establish Powell Hall as the place to be; and second, to build and cultivate its donor base, enhance institutional commitment and increase donations. … The Orchestral Series has attracted increasingly larger audiences since Bronstein’s arrival, with 2008-2009 per-concert average attendance up 4.2 percent over 2007-08, followed by another 5.4-percent increase by mid-May 2010. … Financial results are as impressive as attendance. The annual campaign has experienced two consecutive years of growth, from FY2007 to FY2009.” Readers can see the full article by clicking here and going to page 44.

Posted August 11, 2010