The DSO's Looking to Raise $50 Million. Turns Out, It's Already Almost Halfway There.

Categories: Arts, Local Music
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It's been no secret that the Dallas Symphony Orchestra could use a little classical gas right now, following a season that left the DSO with what some guesstimated to be a seven-figure deficit, a few high-profile last-minute cancellations and chief operating officer Paul Stewart taking the president's baton from the abruptly adiosed Doug Adams. Which is why the symphony has launched what it's calling The Great Orchestra Campaign, the intention of which is to raise $50 million.

Seems like a big number (only because it is). But per the just-shipped release that follows, the DSO says it has already hauled in $20,680,000 -- much of it from the likes of Margot and Ross Perot (who kicked in $5 million) and the Eugene McDermott Foundation (good for $3.5 mil), not to mention an anonymous $5-mil kick-starter. And then there's Jaap van Zweden's contribution to the cause: $250,000. Says the DSO's music director, hey, he's just here to help and delighted to put his money where his baton is.

"I am thrilled to see the board and staff coming together to achieve this exciting fundraising challenge," he conducts in the statement that follows. "Paul, only just a few months into the job of president, has galvanized the board and staff literally securing nearly 21 million dollars in just 60 days. This is a very major step in our future." Jaap, it sure is.
THE DALLAS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA ANNOUNCES OVER $20 MILLION IN GIFTS

DSO's New President Completes Challenge in First 60 Days on the Job

Five Million Dollar Challenge Grant Matched 3:1

DALLAS (November 18, 2010) - The Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced today the launch of a $50 million Great Orchestra Campaign with $20,680,000 raised as of today in secured gifts. This campaign was created by the DSO Board of Directors to enhance the artistic growth of the DSO and to help solidify financial stability. An initial anonymous challenge grant of $5 million required the DSO to raise an additional $15 million. Over $13 million of this amount was pledged between September 15, 2010 and today under the leadership of DSO President Paul Stewart, during his first sixty days on the job. Major leading matching gifts included $5 million from Margot and Ross Perot, $3.5 million from the Eugene McDermott Foundation and $1 million from the Robinson Family.

Another extraordinary development was the pledge by Music Director Jaap van Zweden of $250,000 toward the challenge. His gift, designed to inspire others, led to broad support from the DSO Board and other members of the community. Additional Leading Donors of the campaign include Rebecca and DSO Chairman Ron Gafford, Melissa and DSO President Paul Stewart, Diane and Hal Brierley, Barbara and Steve Durham, Gina and Scott Ginsburg, Fanchon and Howard Hallam, Winnie and Davis Hamlin, Carla and Gert Jan Kramer, Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger, Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr., Jessie and Charles Price, Barbara and Stan Rabin, Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, Jan and Jeff Rich, Stan Richards (Richards Group), the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation, Anita and Merlyn Sampels, Myrna and Bob Schlegel (Pavestone), the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation, Norma and Dallas Symphony Foundation Board President Don Stone, the Fluor Corporation and an anonymous board member.

Stewart credits the leadership of van Zweden and a tremendous response from the board. "The completion of this challenge grant is significant on many levels," Stewart said. "We were given a tremendous opportunity. Seeing how quickly the friends of the DSO came together to provide broad support is a testament to the symphony's strength and stability, and a great indication of the exciting future for our musicians, our patrons and the dynamic region we serve."

Ron Gafford explained, "This is a major accomplishment for the Dallas Symphony and for the City of Dallas. Achieving this goal will not only ensure a balanced budget for the foreseeable future, but it will also enable the DSO to begin its Great Orchestra Project, which involves artistic enhancements such as hiring new musicians and making regular national and international tours. These funds will also give the DSO great momentum leading into a larger campaign to further that project and increase our endowment to position us in the best possible way for years to come."

"I am thrilled to see the board and staff coming together to achieve this exciting fundraising challenge," said Jaap van Zweden. "Paul, only just a few months into the job of president, has galvanized the board and staff literally securing nearly 21 million dollars in just 60 days. This is a very major step in our future."


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