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Green Bay Symphony Orchestra to close after season

  • Associated Press
  • May 4, 2014 - 5:05 PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Symphony Orchestra survived plenty of lean times in its 100-year history, but the current economic downturn has proven too difficult to overcome.

The symphony will fall silent at the end of the 2014-15 season, the result of dwindling donations and years of declining attendance.

"It was a very difficult decision to make," orchestra executive director Dan Linssen said Friday. "However, we cannot continue offering high-quality, professional performances not knowing from concert to concert if we'll be able to cover our costs."

The orchestra was able to pick up a number of corporate sponsors, but not enough to compensate for other lost sponsorships and declining ticket revenue. The symphony has been losing $30,000 to $50,000 for the past few years, he said.

"It's sad, but if you take a broad enough perspective, we're in an evolutionary phase in the arts," Linssen said. "... We've got to be sensitive about what constitutes art appreciation for the next generation. It's clearly not symphony concerts."

The orchestra will end next year after a farewell season of five performances, beginning with a Star Spangled Celebration on Sept. 13.

The Green Bay Symphony was founded in 1913. It held its first concert the following year.

© 2014 Star Tribune