Over the past few months, the PSO has experienced two
emotional adrenaline rushes which, if sustained, will keep this orchestra and
the city on a high for decades to come.
First, in November, the R.P. Simmons Family, headed by PSO
Chairman Dick Simmons and his wife Ginny pledged to make a multi-tiered $29.5
million gift to the orchestra which is designed to leverage a greater $80
million fundraising campaign over the coming months/years. More than simply handing over a check, the
gift has several stipulations tied to it which will hopefully inspire the
greater community to participate in the campaign and compel the orchestra to post
back to back to back (and then some!) years of revenue exceeding expenses. Coming from the fundraising world, I find
these stipulations particularly fascinating (that tells you a bit about boring
‘ol me eh?). You can read about this
first rush here.
Next, last week, the PSO was turned upside-down in the best
way possible. We announced to the world
that Maestro Manfred Honeck would become the 9th Music Director of
the Pittsburgh Symphony. This
announcement was met with a ton of excitement from staff (see this article
featuring a picture of staff member Susan Jenny giving Manfred a PGH-sized bear
hug) to musicians (see Bob Lauver’s blog coverage here plus check back with Bob
soon for video coverage), to the Board, to the public (see this and this front
page paper coverage as well as this and this and this and while you’re at it,
Needless to say, now is a very stimulating time to work for
the PSO as this article describes. Now,
it’s time to take this adrenaline and run with it!
If you have any comments regarding the gift, Maestro Honeck,
or any other PSO-related topic, feel free to voice your opinion on our message board.