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Chicago Symphony sets sales and gift records, inaugurates gallery honoring its donors

Submitted by on Oct 24, 2013 – 12:18 pm

Report: CSO Association details modest deficit and vigorous earned revenue for fiscal 2013.

By Lawrence B. Johnson

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association set records in fiscal 2013 with $23.2 million in ticket sales and $29.8 million in contributed income.

The 2013 fiscal tally, presented Oct. 23 at the Association’s annual meeting, also showed a slight operating deficit of 0.2 percent, or $169,000 on expenses totaling $73.8 million. The CSOA reported a healthy 44 percent of fiscal 2013 revenue was earned, through ticket sales and other sources.

“The CSOA board of trustees is committed to maintaining the financial strength of this great institution, while preserving the CSO’s legacy of artistic excellence and supporting the vision of our music director, Riccardo Muti,” said board chairman Jay L. Henderson. “It is through our combined efforts that we were able to achieve our excellent results this past year.”

At the meeting’s conclusion, the new Richard and Helen Thomas Donor Gallery was unveiled in the Symphony Center Rotunda to honor patrons whose lifetime giving has reached $500,000. The interactive gallery pays tribute to individual donors, corporations and foundations recognized as “the CSO’s closest friends and staunchest supporters.”

For the third consecutive year, the organization saw record fund-raising in annual support: $29.8 million, up 6 percent from the previous year. Overall fund-raising, which includes operating support and gifts given directly to the endowment and special projects, totaled $52 million.

The $23.2 million in tickets sold for 305 CSOA-sponsored events at Symphony Center was a 4.5 percent increase over the previous year’s record $21.4 million. CSO subscription concerts sold to 82 percent capacity as single-ticket revenue jumped 15.7 percent from fiscal 2012.