SLSO Continues to Make Money, Reduce Deficit

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The SLSO onstage at Powell Hall. - FLICKR.COM/PHOTOS/BOTTLEOFBLUES
  • flickr.com/photos/bottleofblues
  • The SLSO onstage at Powell Hall.
The Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra ended its fiscal year August 31 with an increase in fundraising and a decrease in its deficit. Added to the increase in ticket sales reported at the end of the concert season in June and a successful labor agreement with the musicians' union, the SLSO appears to be the rare cultural institution able to thrive during the recession.

During this year's Annual Campaign, the symphony raised $4.8 million, its highest revenue since 2004 and a 1.7 percent increase over last year. The SLSO reported a structural deficit of $2.96 million, down 2 percent from last year. The organization claims, however, that these gaps are covered by extra contributions and the symphony is actually debt-free.

Says Fred Bronstein, SLSO's President and Executive Director, "Despite a difficult environment in 2009, significant progress was made in key areas, including a major step forward in turning around multi-year ticket sales and attendance declines in ways that engaged many new patrons; in a second consecutive year of growth in the Annual Campaign; and through continued progress toward financial stabilization by the reduction of the structural deficit."

Now if only the rest of us could be so lucky.

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