Believe it: Orchestra gives back $1 million

The Sydney Symphony Orchestra has given back a million-dollar grant to the New South Wales government after learning that the money had been stripped away from smaller arts organisations.

The SSO needs the money to cover extra play-away costs while its hall is being refurbished. But it won’t take crumbs from the mouths of minnows.

Good on them.

Read here.


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  • Some very big budget orchestras in the United States have been given quite generous donations in the past (often at least 8 figures), albeit from private sources ; it’d be cool if they’d spread that money among smaller ensembles.

    • Agreed.

      U.S. cities have a limited amount of money appropriated for arts grants, and the largest cultural institutions — typically the orchestra and main museum — scoop up most of the money. It’s such a relatively small amount that they don’t need it and are more than capable of raising it from private sources. The money would have a much larger impact if given to smaller organizations

  • Not true. The money was specifically to be spent on a venue they are now not performing in. They did not kindly return the money, they could no longer complete the project.

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