Orch uses $26 million gift to hire new players

Terrific news in overnight from Cincinnati, where a quiet campaign has raised $26 million from local families and foundations.

Best of all, says orch prez Trey Devey, they will use the cash to recruit 14 players over five years, restoring the band to full strength of 90.

The money has come in over 14 months and is $6m above the campaign target. Detail here from Janelle Gelfand.

Cincy is the fifth oldest US orch.

CSO_Langree_4322-2_Courtesy-of-the-Cincinnati-Symphony-Orchestra

pic: with music director Louis Langrée

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  • Their work is admirable and a model for others. The GDP of the Cincinnati area is 28th nationally (to add perspective, Cleveland is 26th, Boston is 9th, Houston is 4th, and Dallas is 6th). These are just numbers, but Cincinnati is doing very well in their city.

  • I am surprised that an orchestra is mentioned in these posts without reference to the percentage of its personnel who are female — seemingly the highest concern for many contributors when evaluating musical relevance. Thankfully, fully one third of the Cincinnati Symphony’s musicians are female, and while that may not be 51% it does include three out of six French Hornists as well as a former Acting Principal Trumpeter and a former Bass Trombonist. As a retired CSO musician, it seems to me that we never made any effort to influence that percentage in one direction or another, prefering to hire on the basis of musical attributes rather than the coincidence of gender.

  • By American standards for arts support, Cincinnati has reason to be proud of its orchestra. On the other hand, it only had 13 opera performances last year and ranks 366th in the world for opera performances per year. This for a metro population of 2.2 million. Our private funding system results in one of the lowest per captia ratios for arts spending in the developed world.

  • William, Cincinnati’s Music Hall has 3,400 seats. While the number of performances is lower, the number of people served at each Cincinnati Opera performance rivals the Met. There is more to the analysis than number of performances alone.

    • The Met has 3800 seats and does about 300 performances a year. No comparison with Cincinnati’s 13 performances.

  • This article says: “Best of all, says orch prez Trey Devey, they will use the cash to recruit 14 players over five years, restoring the band to full strength of 90”.
    —-historically the band has been 99 strong. Hopefully this is just chapter one.

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