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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

Funding Shortage Keeps Ballet San Antonio From Hiring Symphony For Nutcracker

Still Life Photography

A long-time San Antonio holiday tradition may soon disappear. That tradition is the San Antonio Symphony providing the music for Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker.

"Yes, it appears that the San Antonio Symphony for the first time since probably the 1960s will not be in the pit for the 2017 production with Ballet San Antonio," says symphony musician Craig Sorgi.

Symphony CEO David Gross says they offered Ballet San Antonio a reduced rate of $150,000 for a 2-week multi-show run, but the ballet company couldn't commit.  

"They said that they could only do a hundred [a hundred thousand]. And it went back and forth for about three months and eventually, they came to us and said that they wouldn't be able to hire the symphony."

Ballet San Antonio declined to speak for this story. Their web site lists The Nutcracker on consecutive weekends in November and December. Barring the San Antonio Symphony, music would have to provided in one of two ways: the Ballet assembling individual musicians to form a small orchestra, or simply to play pre-recorded music. Corgi says this is a pretty sad turn if it's not resolved.

"The Tobin Center was built with the intention that the resident companies would collaborate. The musicians enjoy working with the ballet. It just seems like a tremendous waste."

Gross says there is still a slim possibility of an agreement.

"We've been asking for resolution on the issue since December. It's not like there's any kind of ill will or bad blood between the symphony and the ballet. It's purely a financial issue."

Find more on the San Antonio Symphony here

Find more on Ballet San Antonio here

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii