Columbus Symphony, bringing music to retirement communities and prisons

Posted on: February 3, 2016

“Two weeks ago, seven Columbus Symphony musicians performed Beethoven for about 50 residents of the Wesley Ridge Retirement Community in Reynoldsburg,” writes Nancy Gilson in Sunday’s (1/31) Columbus Dispatch (Ohio). “ ‘The idea is to perform everywhere,’ said William Conner, president and CEO of the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts, which manages the orchestra. Five years ago, the orchestra might have scheduled a dozen such performances a year. In 2015, symphony officials said, it presented more than 100,” including for “young men and women in the Franklin County Juvenile Detention Center…. The Columbus Symphony’s efforts … mirror those of other orchestras throughout the country, said Jesse Rosen, president and CEO of the League of American Orchestras…. ‘There’s definitely been a big increase in activity in orchestras engaging their communities in new ways and with different combinations of musicians,’ Rosen said. ‘Most orchestras now view this as an essential part of their value propositions; that is, offerings that are more than just concerts in concert halls.’ ” Said Rossen Milanov, the Columbus Symphony’s music director, “An orchestra is not just an orchestra anymore. It’s an institution that provides services to a community like other cultural institutions—libraries and museums. An orchestra needs to be connected and integrated with its community and with children.”

Posted February 3, 2016