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Speaking of Symphony Orchestras Doing Well … There’s News from Dallas


by Jerome Weeks 23 Jul 2008

Yesterday, I posted a report about the Houston Symphony being in the black for four years in a row.  Which is in sharp contrast to, say, the teetering-on-the-brink Columbus Symphony, or the Minnesota Orchestra, which cancelled a concert for financial reasons. It also runs counter to the widespread and some might say sadly justified sense […]

CTA TBD

Yesterday, I posted a report about the Houston Symphony being in the black for four years in a row.  Which is in sharp contrast to, say, the teetering-on-the-brink Columbus Symphony, or the Minnesota Orchestra, which cancelled a concert for financial reasons. It also runs counter to the widespread and some might say sadly justified sense in the classical music world that we may be nearing the end times.

Yet that same afternoon, the Dallas Symphony announced the return of Douglas W. Adams — previously the DSO’s general manager, now its new president, replacing Fred Bronstein who left five months ago.

What has Adams been up to since he left to run the Colorado Symphony? Keeping it financially sound for six years in a row, increasing ticket sales by 40 percent and helping to get a bond measure passed that would pay for renovations to Boettcher Hall, the CSO’s home.

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  • Symphonic music is not at the end times. It just needs to adjust to these times.
    Get out of the ivory tower. Or take the ivory tower out of the orchestra.
    When the orchestra is seen as a chance to hear great music instead of a society outing, then it’ll do fine. When the orchestra is integrated into the activities of the city, then it’ll do fine.
    It’ll also have to open up to new composers. Dallas for example is filled with composers stressing melody – yet the orchestras seem oblivious to it. It would also do well to open up to opera, musicals, jazz, and other related types of music. Broaden your range.
    Good leadership and an innovative open mind can counteract almost all the problems facing classic music orchestras. The city will support what’s worth supporting.