Saint Louis Symphony Reports Increase in Revenue, Audiences in 2008-'09 Season


  • The SLSO onstage at Powell Hall.
This past season has been a banner one for the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra. Not only did music director David Robertson make his singing and kazoo-playing debut at Carnegie Hall and management negotiate a three-year labor agreement with the musicians an entire year ahead of schedule, but the SLSO even made more money by playing for larger audiences.

Though the SLSO performed the same number of concerts at Powell Hall as it did in 2007-'08 -- 109 -- this season it reported a 15 percent increase in revenue: $5.57 million, up from $4.84 million. In addition, total attendance rose to 178,837 from 165,865, an increase of 7.8 percent. Between January and May, the orchestra played to seven near-capacity or sold-out houses.

The symphony attracted larger audiences with more popular offerings, like "The Lord of the Rings Symphony", Oz With Orchestra and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. These SLSO Presents concerts attracted 20,000 visitors, more than half of whom were visiting Powell Hall for the first time.

Says Fred Bronstein, the SLSO's president and executive director: "The 2008-09 Season represents an important step forward in the SLSO's audience-building efforts, and is now the springboard toward a bold goal of doubling our audience as identified in our new 10-year strategic vision....It's a good first step, and now we intend to redouble our efforts to build on this performance next season, and beyond."

Next season, KFUO Classic 99 will air live broadcasts of the SLSO's Saturday night performances, beginning with opening weekend September 25.