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Letter from Francie S. Hiltz


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Dear Friends,


 It is my honor and privilege to serve as Board Chair of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra during a pivotal moment of transition in the life of this great organization. All of the success we continue to experience as we return to the beautifully renovated Music Hall and welcome our new CSO President, Jonathan Martin, would not have been possible without the amazing musicians, artistic leadership, talented staff and volunteers. I also want to acknowledge the extraordinary group of volunteer leaders who make up the CSO Board of Directors for their guidance through this transition.

To our knowledge, every orchestra in the country has undergone a major venue transition in recent years experienced double digit decreases in attendance and subscriptions…until now. With great artistic programming and a commitment to unparalleled concert experiences, the CSO and Cincinnati Pops bucked that trend thanks to you, our dedicated audiences and supporters. You stayed with us and we cannot thank you enough!

With Music Hall undergoing a major renovation, the Orchestra performed in a temporary venue this past season and the Taft Theatre admirably filled that important role. The CSO’s Music and Event Management Inc. (MEMI) subsidiary, which manages the Taft Theatre among other venues, also helped to make this transition season such a tremendous success. Of course, the Taft remains an important and historic performance venue in Cincinnati and will continue to serve as the home for the mainstage productions presented by The Cincinnati Children’s Theatre and a diverse array of touring artists.

During this transition, organizations and companies throughout the community stepped forward. When a temporary location was needed to house the largest working orchestra library in the world, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County graciously provided space. When concerns were raised over where Orchestra subscribers could park when attending concerts at the Taft Theatre, Western & Southern Financial Group offered free parking for subscribers at the Queen City Square Garage, just one block away. These are but two examples of the community stepping up; all in all, $9.3 million of transition support was raised and made the Orchestra’s “home away from home” season and return to Music Hall a success.

Much of this work was made possible by the leadership of Trey Devey, whose highly successful tenure as CSO President concluded on April 19. The CSO has the most compelling success story of any American orchestra in recent years and we are primed for continued success with a fantastic new president coming on board, Jonathan Martin.

Lastly, thank you. Thank you for your unwavering commitment, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to Music Hall for the 2017-18 season!

With appreciation,