Statement from the Symphony Society of San Antonio Board of Directors
June 16, 2022:
With deep regret, the Board of Directors of the Symphony Society of San Antonio announces the dissolution of the San Antonio Symphony. By unanimous vote, the Board has initiated the requisite steps to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The assets of the Symphony now lie in the hands of a Trustee who will liquidate them, pay what creditors remain, and close the doors.
Labor negotiations for what would have been the 2021-22 season began in January of 2021. The last bargaining session between the Symphony Society and the Musicians’ Union took place on March 8, 2022 after which the Union declined to return to the bargaining table, despite efforts of federal mediators and the Symphony. The Musicians’ Union has made it clear there is no prospect of the resumption of negotiations, absent the Board agreeing to a budget that is millions of dollars in excess of what the Symphony can afford. The absence of a labor contract has effectively forced the Symphony to shutter its operations.
We want to thank the hundreds of talented musicians and administrative staff who have served our organization since its founding. Without your tireless dedication, we would not have had an organization to deliver great symphonic music for these past eighty years.
Over our long history, many individuals and organizations have supported the Symphony. Of particular significance are our concertgoers and season subscribers. You share our passion for symphonic music and as such, you are the heart of our work and the cornerstone of our support. We send heartfelt thanks to all of the many volunteers, former board members, and donors who have served our organization and community. Your powerful support over the years has meant the world to all of us.
The Symphony would not have survived thus far without the generous support of the noble civic leaders of Bexar County, the City of San Antonio, and the State and federal governments. Private corporations, foundations, and endowments from San Antonio and beyond have lent their support and encouragement for which we are truly grateful.
The San Antonio Mastersingers, the 140-voice Official Chorus of the San Antonio Symphony, has been enhancing our programming since the Mastersingers’ founding in 1943. This volunteer chorus is full of professional singers who are extraordinarily generous with their time, talent, and treasure. To these dear friends we say, Bravissimo!
The San Antonio Symphony League’s robust volunteerism and financial support have made our award-winning Young People’s Concerts possible. Pre-pandemic, these concerts were attended by upwards of 45,000 elementary school children each year.
In 1973, the Symphony League’s Belle Ball, now fifty years running, was conceived of and inaugurated by the brilliant civic leader Margaret King Stanley. This annual event at which the “Belles” make their debuts, is the culmination of multiple years of their community service. Their leadership training has had considerable impact on our programs, our financial wellbeing, and our city.
We have enjoyed strong relationships with our city’s educational institutions such as Trinity University, the University of Texas at San Antonio, all of the Alamo Community College District campuses, and the San Antonio Independent School District.
Audiences have been so fortunate to have wonderful venues to experience the Symphony’s performances. The Municipal Auditorium, The Majestic Theater, and since 2014 The Tobin Center for the Performing Arts. We are deeply grateful for all of the support from these venues and others over our history and for the bold civic leaders who made them all a reality.
As we close, we extend a final vote of thanks to you, the symphonic music lovers and generous donors and supporters who have sustained the Symphony since its founding in 1939.
Board of Directors, Symphony Society of San Antonio