The St. Louis Symphony Just Had its Best Year in Over a Decade

Mabel Suen
Unconventional programming, including a performance of the Music of Final Fantasy, is attracting new fans to the SLSO.
In 2005, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra was struggling: Labor disputes, falling revenue and diminishing credibility threatened the group, which has existed since 1880. It's safe to say times have changed: the SLSO is now world-class -- it recently returned from a successful European tour and music director David Robertson remains one of the most charismatic leaders in classical music. And the orchestra just wrapped up a fiscal year in which it earned its most ticket revenue since 2000.

See also:
-St. Louis Symphony Musicians Ratify New Contract One Year Early
-Save Powell Hall: Concert Marketing Doesn't Get Any Better Than This
-Music from Final Fantasy at Powell Hall, 3/23-3/24/12: Review, Photos and Setlist
-In 2005, the SLSO was headed toward collapse: "Unfinished Symphony"

Total ticket revenue for the 2012 fiscal year (which ended on August 31) was $6.74 million. $1.79 million of that came from the Live at Powell Hall series, which features the SLSO's take on non-classical music (recent installments include The Music of Pink Floyd and An Afternoon At the Oscars).

That series is the main source of the orchestra's improbable growth -- classical concert attendance at Powell was down 2.3% this year, but the Live shows attracted 5.8% more people than they did last year.

Contributions in the form of grants, sponsorships and the Annual Campaign also reached a ten-year high at $9.33 million.

The European tour (which was this month and therefore not part of these numbers) was the SLSO's first since 1998.

Location Info


Powell Symphony Hall

718 N. Grand Blvd, St. Louis, MO

Category: Music

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