MSO has record year of ticket sales and attendance

Orchestra had 20 sold-out performances

Last updated on July 3rd, 2019 at 07:13 pm

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra had a record-setting year during its 2015-16 season in both sales and attendance, the organization announced Wednesday.

Sheet music-Hal Leonard-215364706-shutterstock

The MSO recorded an 8 percent overall increase in single ticket sales and 20 sold-out performances. More than 200,000 people attended its shows over the season. Its previous sales and attendance records were set the year before during the 2014-15 season.

The organization said it also had a 32 percent increase in new attendees over the previous year.

“I’m thrilled that more people are experiencing first-hand the power music has to engage the senses and touch the soul, whether that be through attending our performances or participating in our educational and community outreach events,” said Mark Niehaus, executive director of the MSO in a statement released Wednesday. “As an organization, the MSO is both artistically and operationally at its highest levels. Our board and leadership are committed to acting boldly in order to preserve the MSO’s long-term artistic and financial future.”

The MSO season ran from September 2015 through June 2016, during which it more than doubled its single-ticket sales revenue. The organization credited some of the increase to an updated website it launched in January to improve its online ticket sales functionality.

“Since the upgrade, there has been a 24 percent increase in revenue brought in through the website and a 38 percent increase in total tickets sold online,” MSO representatives wrote in a statement.

Also announced by the MSO: the 2016-2017 season, which began this month, will be music director Edo de Waart’s last with the MSO. Orchestra leaders are searching his replacement.

“One of the most important markers of an economically and culturally vibrant city is a thriving symphony,” said Andy Nunemaker, chair of the MSO Board of Directors and CEO of Dynamis Software Corp. “Over the past several years, the MSO has worked hard to improve its long-term financial position while continuing to perform at an elite level for the more than 100,000 patrons annually who attend our concerts in downtown Milwaukee. We are grateful for the community’s continued support, and look forward to providing memorable musical experiences and fostering music appreciation for generations to come.”

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Ben Stanley, former BizTimes Milwaukee reporter.

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