Hello, here’s $10 million for your orchestra

Hello, here’s $10 million for your orchestra


norman lebrecht

September 16, 2014

The Seattle Symphony got a bit of a shock when, expecting to raise half a million on season opening night, they found themselves clutching a check for ten. That’s million. Dollars.

The donor was Rebecca Benaroya who, with her late husband Jack, funded the building of the concert hall and had to be heavily persuaded to let their name go on it. Jack died two years ago aged 90, but Rebecca, bless her, is still looking after the music.




  • Artis Wodehouse says:

    These folks understood that you can’t take it with you!

  • harold braun says:

    Wonderful that there still are people who value classical music highly.I hope the same will happen in Atlanta,then the orchestra might be saved and Romanstein and his cronies could get the long deserved kick in the ass!

    • Edgar Brenninkmeyer says:

      I hope someone, or some individuals, with plenty cash on hand will be happy to fund the ASO under a new name and as independent organization, as soon as ASO’s musicians resign en masse and leave Romanstein et al to clean the mess they created so diligently. That would mean a new concert hall in Atlanta, as it would be unlikely that the new orchestra would get access to Woodruff Center…

      • Amy says:

        Right, …..Edgar.
        “Musicians, step off this cliff right away. We’re very hopeful that someone will arrive to catch you in time.”

        • sdReader says:

          Understood, Amy, but the idea of independence from the “building” and its ignorant board, and especially of separate fundraising and endowment, operations that should never have been folded in, makes perfect sense.

  • MWnyc says:

    What I don’t understand is why, when a donor makes a big gift and says she doesn’t want her name on a building, the recipient organization pushes her to change her mind.

  • Classic says:

    A similar donation was just announced to the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra this past weekend as well. Philanthropy is alive and well in some places at least …

  • Amy says:

    SDReader (and Edgar), not my point. What is is what is…and the musicians aren’t going to be helped RIGHT NOW until the lockout ends.
    As with Minnesota, there is a (management-) manufactured crisis, a massive endowment large enough to solve a problem at least temporarily, a belief that the orchestra somehow serves said endowment rather than the reverse, and an apparent determination to break unions.