SAN ANTONIO – Members of the now dissolved San Antonio Symphony Society continue to perform and have a new mission through their nonprofit organization to secure a future for an orchestra in the community.
Brian Petkovich with the Musicians of the San Antonio Performance Board has been working nonstop to plan for a fall season.
“We’ve been knocking on the doors of our core supporters over time,” he said.
The performances will be at the San Antonio Baptist Church behind the Tobin Center in downtown. But Petkovich said he also has his vision set for the years ahead.
“The ultimate goal is, you know, grow this into a great orchestra for the city and, you know, continue the work that the San Antonio Symphony did for the 83 years of its existence,” he said.
The San Antonio Symphony Society dissolved due to financial troubles and the inability to reach a contract agreement with musicians.
Former San Antonio Symphony music director emeritus Sebastian Lang-Lessing has also been working alongside the musicians, meeting with city and county leaders to find support for the nonprofit.
“Supporting a symphony goes way beyond supporting classical music in San Antonio. It means a vibrant downtown,” Lang-Lessing said.
He said it could all be made possible with major donors to set the foundation of a strong endowment they can build on.
“If five people agree to give $20 million to an endowment, everything is fixed, which, I mean, $100 million endowment is not a lifesaver. But it will bring that crucial part to the table. That is the security of the job security,” Lang-Lessing said.
The previous symphony was living payroll to payroll. A new organization will need to have more accountability, which is why Lang-Lessing is asking that the county, city and musicians be a part of the board. He said there needs to be a better balance between the board and its CEO, and it will require a more structured accounting and budgeting process.
“All of this will avoid the problems of the past. And now it gives us also the opportunity to build an organization that is more attuned to the needs of the 21st century and what San Antonio really needs,” Lang-Lessing said.
He said he believes a more substantial endowment can help lower ticket prices and make the symphony more affordable and accessible to the San Antonio community.
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