Tsoundcheck helps Toronto Symphony flourish in difficult time

Posted on: June 20, 2011

“For many orchestras in North America, these are dark days,” writes Marcia Adair in Saturday’s (6/18) Globe and Mail (Toronto). “But for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the forecast is far sunnier. Over the past 15 years, the TSO has had its crises (near-bankruptcy in 1995, labour dispute in 1999 and an unexpected conductor changeover in 2003), but is now enjoying full halls, great reviews and—most tellingly—an audience with an average age under 50. The orchestra’s secret weapon? Tsoundcheck. Launched a decade ago as part of an orchestra-wide effort to actively cultivate the under-35 set, tsoundcheck offers $14 tickets to nearly all of season’s concerts, organizes social events for members and performs at non-traditional times like after work and late at night. There is no fee to join, and members can buy best-available seats online. … The fruits of the TSO’s labour are easily visible inside the hall. In the 2009/10 season, 35 per cent of tickets were sold to people under 35, according to the orchestra—the highest proportion yet. … Tsoundcheckers are treated the same as full-price subscribers, which means they aren’t relegated to the nosebleeds or restricted to buying tickets hours before the concert.”

Posted June 20, 2011