Letter from president Trey Devey
As we look back on an extraordinary 2015-16 season featuring groundbreaking artistic initiatives, commissions, recordings, collaborations, partnerships, and an acclaimed performance at New York’s Lincoln Center, we are also entering one of the most intricate and delicate moments in the life of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops.
It has been almost half a century since the last extensive renovation of Music Hall, and thanks to tremendous support from throughout the region, a critically important renovation is taking place right now with construction crews working around the clock to ensure the Hall is ready for the 2017-18 season. It is an enormous undertaking.
At the same time, we planned for this displacement when the CSO took over the management of the Taft Theatre and invested an initial $3.2 million into that historic facility in 2011, and based on audience feedback, invested another $500,000 this year in additional improvements. The Taft is sparkling and ready to host the Orchestra and our audiences.
I want to be clear: other orchestras have stumbled when faced with a venue transition.
The good news is we serve an incredible community. You have nurtured and cared for this organization. You have gotten us to this point. Other orchestras could only hope to have a fraction of our success. We are the great success story of American orchestras—the smallest population in the country to support a major 52-week orchestra.
This means that we can’t afford for a single person to be on the sidelines.
Not this season. We need you to subscribe, attend concerts and support the Orchestra. Furthermore, we need you to tell your friends, colleagues and neighbors to come and experience the CSO and Pops at the Taft Theatre.
And I promise that we will do everything humanly possible to make your and their experience outstanding. We have the best musicians in the world and they will play their hearts out for you on the Taft Theatre stage. And the best guest artists in the world will join them.
Subscribers receive free, guaranteed parking for performances during our one season at the Taft Theatre. Free parking is donated by Western & Southern Financial Group, an example of how our great civic leaders are stepping forward to support the Orchestra when we need it most.
And we will recognize your continuous subscription record and philanthropic support with priority seating in the renovated Music Hall, which will reopen for the full 2017-18 season in October of next year. The loyalty and support that you give us deserve our greatest respect.
Most of all, we’ve been listening to your feedback intently and continue to listen.
We will seek inspiration from you and do everything we can to improve as an organization for you.
Within the pages of this Annual Report, there are numerous examples of how the Orchestra is seeking and sharing inspiration. It is a story unique to Cincinnati and only possible because of supporters like you.