Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Colorado Symphony Orchestra cuts back on fall schedule to save the rest

Lots of sour notes at the Colorado Symphony Orchestra last week, with twenty boardmembers resigning before the musicians ultimately agreed to a 9 percent paycut. But at a meeting yesterday, what remains of the CSO board took several strategic moves to ensure the symphony's survival.

Included among them: cancelling much of the fall schedule, but putting two experienced hands back at the helm.

Here's the full release sent out last night:

Colorado Symphony announces revised fall concert schedule

Jerome H. Kern and Mary Rossick Kern elected Colorado Symphony Board of Trustees co-chairs

DENVER -- October 5, 2011 -- The Colorado Symphony Board of Trustees today announced revisions to the fall concert schedule of the 2011/12 season. During October and November, the orchestra will perform a schedule designed to control costs and restore financial stability. The musicians of the Colorado Symphony have agreed that in order to facilitate the new schedule, they will accept a further reduction in weekly pay during this period. No changes are planned for Colorado Symphony education programs such as Youth Concerts and Petite Musique. All December 2011 holiday concerts will also proceed as planned.

In addition, the Colorado Symphony announced that Jerome H. Kern and his wife, Mary Rossick Kern, have been elected to serve as co-chairs of the Colorado Symphony Association board of trustees. The Kerns served as past co-chairs of the board of trustees. The Colorado Symphony board of trustees is a volunteer board comprised of community and business leaders, CSO musicians, as well as performing arts advocates.

It is the Colorado Symphony's goal to resume full operations on December 5, 2011. Over the next two months, the board of trustees, musicians and management will work diligently to revise the existing budget and create a financially sustainable business model. During this period, the administrative staff will continue to provide essential services and participate in creating an amended operational plan.

The Colorado Symphony's revised fall concert schedule is:

Beethoven 7 -- October 14, 15 and 16 -- Masterworks Series A Friday night performance has been added The Devil's Fiddler -- October 28 -- Inside the Score Series Patti Lupone -- October 29 - One-Night-Only Special All Dvorak -- November 4, 5 and 6 -- Masterworks Series A Friday night performance has been added Ozomatli -- November 12 -- Pops Series Drums of the World -- November 27 -- Family Series

As previously announced, Youth Concerts on November 10 and 15 will proceed as planned, with more than 6,000 children and teens already scheduled to attend the four concerts. The October 10 and 11 Petite Musique performances will also continue as planned. Please note the October 11 concert at Aurora Fox Theater is sold out.

Patrons who hold tickets to cancelled concerts have three options: exchange into another concert, receive a full refund, or donate the value of their tickets to the non-profit organization's Annual Fund. All patrons are encouraged to establish an online account at so that they may receive timely and accurate information from the Colorado Symphony via email.

The Colorado Symphony will make every endeavor to provide timely updates on its progress in the weeks ahead. Please visit for up-to-date information as well as our Facebook page

Colorado Symphony Box Office: Patrons can reach the Colorado Symphony Box Office in several ways. To avoid wait times on the phone or in person, please email us at [email protected] and include your name, address, daytime phone number, as well as the concert(s) you hold tickets to and what option(s) you prefer. Patrons will receive a confirmation email that their transaction has been processed. If you wish to speak to a customer service agent directly, please call (303) 623-7876 or (877) 292-7979 or visit us in-person in the lobby of Boettcher Concert Hall in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. Box Office operating hours are Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Can the CSO be saved? Barry Fey, who rode to the rescue in 1989, doesn't think so. Read "Is the Colorado Symphony on a death watch?" here.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun