Orlando Philharmonic receives surprise $1 million gift

Posted on: January 6, 2014

“How does a $1 million Christmas gift sound? That’s how much one secret Santa gave to the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra to begin renovations at the Plaza Live theater, which will become the group’s administrative headquarters and rehearsal facility,” writes Matthew Palm in Saturday’s (1/4) Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida; subscription required). “The anonymous gift—the largest donation to the Phil’s renovation fund—puts construction on the fast track. Having now raised $3.1 million of the estimated $6 million needed to upgrade the 1963 building, construction can begin in a few months…. The venue on Bumby Avenue east of downtown Orlando most recently has been primarily a music hall hosting acts ranging from Rick Springfield to a John Denver tribute act…. Eventually, the Phil will add smaller-scale classical concerts to the mix. The Phil bought the theater in August, and its first-phase plans include overhauling backstage areas, offices and the rehearsal hall, formerly the Plaza’s smaller theater. New seating might be installed in the larger theater, said [Executive Director David] Schillhammer, who hopes to complete this phase by the end of summer. Work on the lobby and exterior would follow in a second round of renovations.”

Posted January 6, 2014