Tuesday, May 23, 2006

CSO filling more seats

This article was just posted online 20 minutes ago:
CSO filling more seats
By Mary Ellyn Hutton
Cincinnati Post (May 23, 2006)

Last fall's Cincinnati Symphony opener at Music Hall - Beethoven's Ninth Symphony led by music director Paavo Järvi - turned out to be a good omen for the season.

Attendance at the concert was the highest for an opening weekend in recent CSO history
, according to figures released Monday by the CSO. The upward trend prevailed for the season as a whole, which saw an increase of 14 percent in single tickets sales over the previous year - that on top of a rise of 3 percent in subscriptions. There were 7,084 CSO subscriptions sold during the 2005-06 season. Average attendance at CSO concerts was 1,711, a slight upturn over 2004-05 (.3 percent).

In other significant indicators, student ticket sales were up 27 percent - there was a 15 percent jump in average attendance at the CSO's three "College Nites," which drew students from 22 regional colleges - and the CSO Sunday matinee series (four concerts) enjoyed an 18 percent increase in subscription sales.

The CSO, which finished its 2005 fiscal year with a small surplus, gained significant notice for its recordings, too. Järvi and the CSO's latest Telarc release, the Bartok/Lutoslawski Concertos for Orchestra, is No. 9 on Billboard magazine's Classical Releases chart.


A cloud on the horizon was the Cincinnati Pops, which saw average attendance - 2,194 and still highest of any pops orchestra in the country, according to the American Symphony Orchestra League - fall by 4 percent. There was a 4 percent decline in Pops subscriptions and a drop of 11 percent in single ticket sales. Some of that has been attributed to disappointing attendance at the free-standing "Jekyll and Hyde" show at Music Hall in October, presented during the Pops' tour of China.

The top-selling CSO concerts of the season were, in order:

#1. Sept. 9-10. All-Beethoven. Overture to "The Creatures of Prometheus." "Ah, Perfido!" Symphony No. 9. Soprano Camilla Tilling, Mezzo-soprano Jane Gilbert. Tenor Stanford Olsen. Bass Stephen Powell. May Festival Chorus. Paavo Järvi.

#2. April 21-23. Gershwin, "Rhapsody in Blue." Bernstein, Prelude, Fugue and Riffs and Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story." Weill, Suite from "The Threepenny Opera." Wayne Marshall, piano. Richard Hawley, clarinet. Järvi.

#3. April 27-28. Rachmaninoff, Dances/"Aleko," "Rhapsody/theme of Paganini," Symphony No. 2. Anna Polusmiak, piano. Järvi.

#4. April 7-8. All-Mozart. Symphonies No. 1/No. 41. Piano Concerto No. 9. Benjamin Hochman, piano. Jaime Laredo, conductor.

#5. May 5-6. Bartok, Dance Suite. Beethoven, Violin Concerto. Mendelssohn, Symphony No. 3 ("Scottish"). Henning Kraggerud, violin. Järvi

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