On the heels of the naming of Dallas Symphony Orchestra Artist Director Jaap van Zweden as conductor of the year by Musical America, the Dallas Symphony has announced a new business plan which will cut the number of classical series performances but increase the number of community appearances. The release also states that the number of concerts van Zweden and Pops director Marvin Hamlisch conduct each season will stay the same. From Chairman of the Board Blaine Nelson.
“Given the fiscal restraints challenging orchestras across the country, a new approach is needed. Our new business plan addresses that,” Nelson said. “We’ve reduced staff, cut other expenses, implemented wage freezes and secured a practical contract with our musicians, and now we’re doing more with a new business model that can serve as a catalyst for a sustainable future.” Here’s the full release:
DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ANNOUNCES
NEW BUSINESS PLAN
Plan Maintains Artistic Excellence while Reducing Costs,
Increasing Revenue and Community Appearances
Dallas, TX (Nov. 9, 2011) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) today announced a new business model and action plan designed to sustain a secure, vibrant and exciting future for the Dallas Symphony.
The new model provides an approach that can sustain the new level of artistic excellence has achieved under Maestro Jaap van Zweden, by adjusting DSO operations to the realities of the 21st century. The plan will reduce operating expenses in a way that protects artistic quality, boosts revenues and increases the Orchestra’s outreach into the community.
Maestro van Zweden was recently recognized as America’s best conductor by Musical America, which cited the increased performance artistry achieved by DSO under his direction.
“The DSO Executive Board enthusiastically approved a new plan, which we are already putting in place,” said Blaine L. Nelson, Chairman. “This action plan will create a sustainable future that extends the superb quality DSO has achieved, increases community support and lays a stronger foundation for fundraising efforts.”
The plan involves devising a new business model better attuned to the 21st century arts environment. Key elements include:
· Adjusting the number of performances starting next season, to better balance the number of Meyerson concerts with community demand – 62 Classical and 24 Pops performances;
· Providing the same number of concerts conducted by Maestro van Zweden and Marvin Hamlisch as originally planned;
· Extending DSO’s reach into the community with more community concerts, such as ones planned for the Allen ISD Performing Arts Center, scheduled for next year;
· Providing more community organizations with opportunities to sponsor special events like one Fluor Corp. has arranged for its stakeholders next year;
· Increasing DSO’s highly popular music education programs for children and adults; and
· Increasing DSO’s collaboration with other arts organizations so more can enjoy DSO’s superb music.
“Like many arts organizations, we have been affected by the financial wave that has hit arts funding across the U.S.,” said Nelson. “Orchestras throughout the country are realizing that a new business model is required for the 21st century, and recent deficits indicate we are no exception.”
“We’ve been listening to what the community is telling us, so our new plan better aligns our performance schedules with attendance patterns,” said David Hyslop, Interim President and CEO. “Starting next season, after making schedule adjustments, we will be able to accommodate all of our patrons who attend the Meyerson, reducing expenses while making the orchestra available for more concerts and special events out in the community.”
“Given the fiscal restraints challenging orchestras across the country, a new approach is needed. Our new business plan addresses that,” Nelson said.
“We’ve reduced staff, cut other expenses, implemented wage freezes and secured a practical contract with our musicians, and now we’re doing more with a new business model that can serve as a catalyst for a sustainable future,” Nelson said.
“Inspired by this plan, many of our Board and Executive Committee members are already substantially increasing their giving to the Symphony. But to truly succeed, we need support from our donors, subscribers and the community at large,” Nelson said.
With this new plan for sustainability in place, we’re also asking our supporters to make attending concerts and giving to the Symphony a top priority,” Nelson said. “Our commitment to make the Dallas Symphony a leading orchestra and ambassador for our city is stronger than ever.”
About the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Jaap van Zweden, presents the finest in classical music at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, regarded as one of the world’s premiere concert halls.
As the largest and oldest performing arts organization in the southwest, the Dallas Symphony is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience. Each year, the orchestra reaches more than 240,000 adults and 60,000 children through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives. In the last 25 years, the orchestra has released more than 30 CD recordings; toured Europe four times; and performed in Asia, Mexico, Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center, and in New York at Carnegie Hall.
In his fourth year with the Dallas Symphony, Maestro van Zweden continues to deliver artistic excellence by bringing prominent and emerging guest soloists and conductors to Dallas, and by programming new works alongside beloved favorites. The DSO’s residency at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival as well as invitations to prominent events, such as the 2011 Spring for Music Festival at Carnegie Hall, are also elevating the orchestra to national and international prominence.
Founded in 1900, the Dallas Symphony is now a central figure in the Dallas Arts District, the largest of its kind in the nation. The 68-acre district in downtown Dallas is home to multiple museums, parks, and performing arts venues, including the Meyerson Symphony Center.