Live music returns to Washington Ballet, but orchestra future uncertain

Posted on: October 12, 2011

In Tuesday’s (10/11) Washington Post, Sarah Kaufman writes, “After two years of canned Tchaikovsky, the Washington Ballet will dance to a live orchestra during its four-week run of ‘The Nutcracker’ this season, thanks to a $250,000 gift from longtime arts supporter Adrienne Arsht, the ballet announced Tuesday. The donation comes as the ballet prepares to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its first ‘Nutcracker’ performances.” The company performs ‘The Nutcracker’ December 1-24 at the Warner Theatre. “ ‘We are thrilled that we have a very generous donor whose interest is live music,’ said board chair Sylvia A. de Leon in an interview. The Washington Ballet ‘has reached a new three-year agreement with the musicians. This will be the framework not only for ‘The Nutcracker,’ but for future live music we hope to have.’ Although the ballet appears to be doing well financially, de Leon cautioned that future use of an orchestra is uncertain. The ballet’s budget is $9 million, up from $8 million last year. Ballet subscribers and single-ticket purchasers have increased, and last year’s ‘Nutcracker’ was the company’s most profitable ever, de Leon said.”

Posted October 12, 2011