Orchestras are a vital part of America’s musical landscape and civic lifWith more than 1,800 symphony, chamber, collegiate, and youth orchestras across the country, America is
brimming with extraordinary musicians, live concerts, and orchestras as unique as the communities they serve. Orchestral music making is flourishing in our country, encouraging creativity and bringing people
together to share the experience of live music. Orchestras fuel local economies, attract new business development, educate young people, and – through the power of music – unite individuals and cultures in
good times and bad.
How many communities and people are involved with orchestras?
Orchestras exist in all 50 states, in virtually every community, with annual budgets ranging from less than $12,000 to more than $90 million.
350-400 professional orchestras, which means they have paid musicians
800-900 volunteer orchestras
150-200 collegiate/conservatory orchestras
400-500 youth orchestras
More than half a million individuals are involved in orchestras, including conductors, staff, board members, musicians, and volunteers. And that’s not even counting millions of people in the audience!
Who goes to orchestra concerts?
More people (and younger) than you realized! In the 2009-10 season, they played to an audience of just over 26 million attendees nationwide. At traditional classical subscription concerts, more than 60% of the
audience were adults younger than 55 in 2008.
The total number of concerts performed has risen by nearly 4% in the last decade. In 2009-10 America’s orchestras performed more than 35,000 concerts.
2,190 Community Engagement
7,349 Other Concerts (including choral, opera, ballet, summer, family, and festival
What is the financial structure of orchestras?
Orchestral activity is supported by a combination of public and private support – and every piece is critical.
Orchestras are not supported by ticket sales alone. As members of the nonprofit charitable community,
orchestras depend upon private philanthropy and civic support.
2009-10 Orchestra Revenue
Government Grants 3%
Other Earned Income 9%
Orchestra revenue totaled $1 billion in 2009-10. Their economic impact exceeds several times that amount as orchestras create jobs, engage in commerce with local businesses, and spur local expenditures on
related goods and services (hotels, restaurants, parking facilities, and more).
Article by League of American Orchestras.