DENVER BUSINESS JOURNAL - For the first time since it was organized in 1989, the Colorado Symphony is beginning a new concert season with a budget surplus, $1.7 million in cash in the bank and substantial financial commitments toward a goal of creating a $50 million permanent endowment.
Last year at this time, the symphony had $7,000 in cash. And just five years ago, the orchestra was close to going under. The governing board of the Colorado Symphony association had resigned en masse, taking substantial private financial support of the orchestra with them, in a dispute with musicians over work rules and other labor contract provisions.
Since then, however, a new management team, a new board and members of the orchestra have nursed the symphony back from the brink of dissolution with a vastly expanded concert schedule, new venues to show off the musicians’ work — such as movie score and concert recording contracts — and new financial support from corporations and foundations to augment revenue from ticket sales.
The Colorado Symphony now plays the eighth biggest concert schedule of any orchestra in the United States, from accompanying rock bands at Red Rocks to movie-themed concerts and tributes to popular and jazz musicians, in addition to its traditional Masterworks and pops performances.
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