Let It Snow

December 21st, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Featuring HSO Bassist Rick Rozie, HSO Jazz and Strings Pianist Walter Gwardyak, and Holiday Cirque Spectacular Guest Vocalist Shenel Johns.

Special Thanks to The Mark Twain House & Museum!

Opening Night

October 12th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

We opened our season last night with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and our premiere performance of Xian’s Yellow River Cantata to a sold out house.  There were more than 300 performers in the concert, including singers from The Hartford Chorale, Kang Hua Singers of Greater Hartford, and Farmington High School Chamber Singers.

hso10_11-059 hso10_11-068 hso10_11-082

Were you at the performance? What is your review for the concert?

The Thing That Drives Me Crazy…

October 4th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

“The thing that drives me crazy about hiking is also the thing that drives me crazy about Beethoven 9. Hiking is great, hiking is fun, it enriches the body, mind and spirit and doesn’t cost a lot, but when I am tired of bugs and heat and climbing and I see a summit up ahead, it’s distressing, not de-stressing, to reach a spot in the sky only to discover it’s a false summit and I actually have another hour, straight up. In Beethoven 9’s last movement, you go along on a musical journey, a climb, and you get to a spot where you think your aural trials and tribulations have concluded in a beautiful and expansive view. Instead, you find your travels have not finished. Another ending, and another, and just like hiking, when you do finally get to that true conclusion, you discover a vista gloriously worth the trouble.” -Hilary Ledebuhr, HSO Third Horn


The HSO’s season begins one week from today with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Xian’s Yellow River Cantata. Visithttp://www.hartfordsymphony.org to reserve your seats today (because they’re almost sold out!).

Name That Conductor (2)

September 20th, 2012 § 2 comments § permalink

Can you identify this former HSO Music Director?


We’re looking at you, Hartt…

Arts Fundraising…Why?

September 17th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

As we move into a new season (and the advent of our new blog), I began to think about the question I get from many friends and family members–why does the symphony need to fundraise? I’m not here to make the argument that music is life-changing and influences us all; let’s assume that we agree on that point as you are reading our blog. I’m looking to explain why fundraising is so integral to the success of the arts.

When the majority of people think of donating money to a charity, issues like hunger, homelessness, animal abuse and disease research come to mind. Until the past few years, I would have included myself in this majority. Performing arts organizations, and perhaps even more so,  orchestras, are often accompanied by the assumption that they are only for the well to do and thus self-sustaining. That assumption is wrong on both counts.

Orchestral music doesn’t exist  just for the affluent; it exists for everyone to be able to experience, learn from, and (hopefully!) enjoy as much as we do. The Hartford Symphony does indeed play large concerts in venues like The Bushnell and Simsbury Meadows for which tickets are purchased. However, we have taken many steps to ensure that ticket prices are affordable for as many people as possible, including student ticket prices and lower priced tickets for those under the age of 40. We’ve also kept all of our other ticket prices the same for the past few years.

None of this is a coincidence, or laziness; we want to make sure that we are not pricing out anyone who would want to come to a concert. For those who can’t get to a concert, we do our best to bring the music to them through free performances in various locations in the Greater Hartford area, programs in public schools, and more. This is because it’s so important to us that everyone, no matter who they are, where they live in our community, or how much money they make, should be able to experience our music.

But, all of this comes at a cost. In keeping our ticket prices low, we only cover a fraction of what it takes to put on the high quality performances that the community deserves. While other countries, most notably in Europe, acknowledge this universal “right” to the arts, and substantially support arts institutions with funding, this is not the case in the United States. (Please note that I’m not saying whether or not I think the government should; I’m just pointing out that any government funding is a small fraction of most arts organizations’ budgets.)   This is where private fundraising comes in. In order to keep doing everything we want to do, we rely on donors to help us fund our mission to bring music into our community–to everyone in our community–through our numerous series and programs. Our largest piece of fundraising comes from thousands of generous individuals giving every year because they, too, think everyone deserves to experience our music.


Whatever level a donor gives, it matters.  All of those dollars add up–from the extra $5 you donate when purchasing your subscription every spring, to the $2,500 each of our Maestra’s Society members give annually. It’s not just about the dollar amount, but also about the message it sends. We are coming together and saying that we all believe that it is important to make fantastic music available to everyone in our community.

Follow HSO!

Get the latest posts delivered to your mailbox: