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
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
CSO filling more seats
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