“When asked if the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s latest managerial strategy and turnaround could be called ‘HSO.2,’ Executive Director Steve Collins smiled, saying, ‘More like “HSO.8’ if you’re talking about our 75-year history,’ ” writes Frank Rizzo in last Monday’s (5/6) Hartford Business Journal. “After … near-bankruptcy as recently as 2015, it … has produced two fiscal years of modest surpluses ($40,000 and $45,000) and it’s rounding the corner on a third…. Earned revenue is up 35 percent over the last four years…. In Jan. 2016, an agreement was made with the musicians’ union to restructure their deal [and downsize] the administrative organization…. Once the new business model that matched operating expenses to revenues was in place, a Music Builds Community campaign began in 2017…. With Jeff Verney … as board chairman, the HSO raised nearly $8 million in two years, which allowed it to erase its $2 million debt…. The HSO now performs about 65 programs a year [including] the new HSO: Intermix series … in alternative venues.… League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen says there’s more urgency than ever before to develop new audiences.”  

Posted May 14, 2019

In photo: The Hartford Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Carolyn Kuan in performance. Photo by Chowder, Inc.