“Ask Toledo Symphony Orchestra President and CEO Zak Vassar how things are going as he begins his seventh month at the helm, and he grins from ear to ear: ‘I’m the luckiest guy in the world,’ ” writes Wayne F. Anthony in Sunday’s (2/19) Toledo Blade (Ohio). “ ‘My dream was always to be at the helm of an orchestra’ … he explains…. Given the nearly sold-out audience that filled the Peristyle for the most recent TSO Classics concert, his mandate to increase both the orchestra’s visibility and viability seems to be paying off…. ‘I want the TSO to be more strategic in how we think about our community,’ [says Vassar]. ‘If we think about coming to a classics concert, much of the experience is about little bits of waiting…. Most people at the League of American Orchestras’ conference estimated their audience members probably drove 15-20 minutes to get to a concert…. Then, they had to wait in line 15-20 minutes to get a ticket.… These are hidden barriers we have to address.’ ” The orchestra, which will mark 75 years in 2019, is in the midst of a music director search, with Stefan Sanderling ending his tenure this season.

Posted February 24, 2017

Pictured: The Toledo Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Stefan Sanderling at Carnegie Hall in 2011