A San Francisco Symphony SoundBox concert curated by composer and performer Tyshawn Sorey, March 25, 2022. Photo by Kristen Loken.

In Thursday’s (12/4) San Francisco Chronicle, Joshua Kosman writes, “The San Francisco Symphony plans to reduce the schedule for SoundBox, its 10-year-old experimental performance venue and concert series, as a cost-cutting measure. The first on the chopping block is a program planned for March 8-9, which was to be curated by Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen…. The orchestra added that future plans for SoundBox will include just two programs per season—a reduction from the three to five that have generally made up the series. ‘It’s never an easy decision to pull back on something like SoundBox,’ Symphony CEO Matthew Spivey told the Chronicle…. A SoundBox program (which is generally performed twice) costs the organization around $250,000, he said, but draws only about $25,000 to $30,000 in earned revenue [due to the small audience capacity of the venue]. ‘There are countless intangible, non-financial benefits to having SoundBox, but it’s not an inexpensive thing … And there are still significant financial pressures on the organization overall coming out of the pandemic,’ he explained, adding that an endowment … ensures the financial stability of at least two programs per season … ‘Press Play,’ an AI showcase curated by roboticist Carol Reiley, one of Salonen’s eight Creative Partners, is expected to go forward as scheduled on April 5-6.”