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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world. To listen to KPAC 88.3 FM, simply open the player in the gray ribbon at the top of this page and choose KPAC: Classical Music.

Inside The Symphony's $600,000 Boost, Future Plans

No instruments were in sight, but the San Antonio Symphony trumpeted its major announcement at the Tobin Center this morning with the help of San Antonio Symphony board and Tobin Endowment chairman Bruce Bugg.

"It is a new paradigm for the San Antonio Symphony," he said. "There have been a series of operating deficits over time. They have a fiscal operating deficit this year of $600,000."

It was a shortfall significant enough that last month the Symphony management and musicians agreed to an up to 10% reduction in pay as a stopgap measure to nullify the projected deficit for the next fiscal year. But about that same time, the Symphony board was meeting with large donors to build a financial path forward.    

"The main thing we've done," Bruce continued at the news conference, "is that we've given them runway space for the next two years, not only in dollars, but dollars tied to performance."

Five major donors--foundations, the city, county and H-E-B, are donating $500,000 and the board itself is chipping in another $100,000 to make the Symphony solvent.

"I believe we're on the right path," said County Judge Nelson Wolff. "[To] control expenses, and at the same time we're going to broaden the outreach to the community, and try to explain in a much better way than we've been able to do in the past how important symphonic music is to the community."

A board restructuring, the hiring of a Vice President of Development and a Marketing Director for the Symphony are also part of the plan to help broaden that outreach and secure the Symphony's long-term sustainability.

"We're not just addressing this fiscal year, but we're trying to set the San Antonio Symphony up for success in future years," Bugg explained.

He says the donor community will be measuring their success as pre-requisite for getting involved.