The Dallas Symphony Orchestra traces its beginnings back to May 22, 1900, when a 40-member ensemble presented a concert under German-born conductor Hans Kreissig. Today, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is one of the nation’s largest orchestras, with a 1987-88 budget of $11.4 million.
A wide range of programs is played by the Dallas Symphony Orchestra throughout the year, including classical, pops, parks, and summer Starfest concerts. In addition, the Orchestra plays for The Dallas Opera productions. The Fair Park Music Hall is currently the Symphony’s primary performance site, but in September 1989 the Symphony will open the new Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center.
In May 1985 the Dallas Symphony made its inaugural European tour playing 15 concerts in England, Wales, West Germany, France and Spain. The enthusiastic reception by critics and audiences alike made the tour an important milestone in the growth and development of the Orchestra.
The Dallas Symphony regularly plays concerts for school children at the Music Hall in cooperation with local school districts. Individual DSO musicians extend that outreach by taking their artistry to area schools through the Symphony’s Youth and Education Series (YES). Additionally, the DSO performs annual concerts for the handicapped at Bachman Recreation Center. Free tickets to other DSO series concerts are provided through the Symphony’s “Heartstrings” program for needy students and others who enjoy the Orchestra but are unable to afford tickets.
Two music education programs for adults have also been established by the DSO. The “Easy Listening” music appreciation classes offer insight and knowledge into classical music using non-technical lectures with taped musical examples. The popular 7 o’clock Lecture Series continues to precede many DSO Classical Series concerts at the Music Hall. These free lectures are offered on 20 selected evenings during 1987-88.
In recent years the Dallas Symphony’s concert audiences have grown dramatically. Subscriptions have jumped from 2,900 in 1975 to more than 25,000 in 1987-88. Most Dallas Symphony concerts are now played to capacity or near-capacity audiences.
In its 87th season, the Dallas Symphony enjoys international acclaim as it awaits the new era which will begin with the completion of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in 1989.