- Associated Press - Friday, May 8, 2015

CINCINNATI (AP) - The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has raised $26 million in a campaign drive that will allow it to add 14 new members to its ensemble over the next five years.

Officials made the announcement at a concert Thursday night. The funding is the culmination of a 14-month fundraising campaign that will help sustain the orchestra as a year-round operation by increasing the orchestra players by 18 percent and restoring the ensemble to 90 full time members, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported (https://cin.ci/1FT5frk ).

The funding will also allow the orchestra to maintain its distinction as the smallest city in the nation that still supports a full time, 52-week orchestra.

“I think it’s a very big deal,” said Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras. “The big deal is not the size of the amount of money, it’s the commitment to raise that kind of money to bring the orchestra back to a higher complement to ensure that it’s playing at the highest quality.”

More than 20 families, individuals and foundations donated to the campaign. Orchestra president Trey Devey told the newspaper that it will allow them to attract top-level conductors and musicians.

The fundraising campaign shows a drastic turnaround for the orchestra. Just six years ago, the ensemble was contemplating downsizing and could have gone out of business.

Since then, the orchestra has seen audiences grow by 28 percent in the last six seasons for the Cincinnati Symphony and annual fund donations have skyrocketed by 60 percent in the last five seasons.

The announcement coincides with the agreement of a five-year deal made this week between the orchestra and the union that will increase the musicians’ base salary by 1.5 percent each year.


Information from: The Cincinnati Enquirer, https://www.enquirer.com

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