Monday, April 11, 2011

Lincoln Symphony Orchestra: Cheaper tickets and bigger venue

Breaking news this past Friday was the announcement by the Lincoln Symphony Orchestra of a number of changes for the upcoming season. While many orchestras are struggling financially, and are tempted to raise their prices, the LSO is making tickets more affordable. In the symphony’s official press release, it is stated that “more than half of the seats will be available for the same price as a movie” and Executive Director Barbara Zach stated that “The lower ticket prices are the final piece of the puzzle in terms of truly becoming Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra by making live classical music financially accessible to everyone in our community.”
Concerts this year cost $24.99, $34.99, or $44.99 based on seating, and the costs during the next year are as follows:
  • Premium seats (approximately half of the venue) will cost $25, and remaining seats will cost $10
  • 20|30 Club members (anyone ages 18-39 who joins the club by calling the LSO office and providing their email address and date of birth) will receive premium seats for only $10
  • Tickets for children ages 5-17 will cost $5
  • Ticketing fees will be added to every ticket
The lower ticket prices will attract a larger audience, and by moving the principal venue from Kimball Recital Hall to the Lied Center for Performing Arts, the capacity goes from 850 to 2,200, the LSO will be able to accommodate their growing attendees. The move to the Lied Center is helped by donations from John and Rhonda Seacrest and the Lienemann foundation as well as by many smaller donations and season ticket holders.

Clark Potter, principal viola for LSO, told this examiner that he looks forward to playing more at the Lied Center, although he also loves playing in Kimball and stated that “the sound in there is excellent. I love the feeling that the audience is right there close and, like any musician, I love playing for a packed house. No one in the orchestra was disappointed with Kimball.” At the same time, however, Potter states that “the sound in the Lied is terrific” and that having played there a lot in his 15 years in Lincoln, it won’t feel strange to be there.

In regards to the ticket prices, Potter said he thought it sounded like a good experiment. “I really like that the orchestra is trying to make something happen,” Potter said, “it would be easy in ‘these economic times’ to sit back and just try to weather the storm. The fact that the orchestra is being proactive is a terrific sign of forward motion.”

The LSO is certainly doing its part to keep Classical music alive in Lincoln—now anyone can attend for a reasonable price and experience great, live music. However you’re dressed, whatever your tastes in music, and even on a low budget, you can enjoy an evening with the orchestra!

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