BPO finances are looking strong, Mary Kunz Goldman, Buffalo News

The Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s latest financial numbers are music to the ears.

Once again, the orchestra achieved a balanced budget for its 2013-14 season. In announcing the news, the orchestra cited its steadily climbing ticket sales, which brought in $3.3 million in revenue last season. Ticket sales have climbed 17 percent since 2009. The orchestra also rejoices in its endowment, which now tops $32 million.

Artistically, the BPO is maintaining a high profile. The last season saw the release of four CDs. Among them is the critically acclaimed recording on the Naxos label of Reinhold Gliere’s Symphony No. 3, the rarely performed and challenging work that the BPO performed at Spring for Music at Carnegie Hall in 2013.

A recently released report to the community included a lot of points of pride. The Philharmonic pointed to the JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition, which makes news in the musical world; and a successful Florida tour. A concert at Princeton University saw the BPO conquering a new frontier. A number of appealing new works the orchestra performed also made a splash. Perhaps the most colorful was Miguel del Aguila’s Concierto en Tango. The BPO’s world premier performance featured Principal Cellist Roman Mekinulov.

The orchestra estimated that 200,000 people attended a BPO concert in the 2013-14 season. The BPO’s education programs reached 40,000 students, and more than 35,000 people attended the BPO’s summer concerts, including performances at the Erie County Fair and at Canalside.

The numbers add to the recent good news radiating from Kleinhans Music Hall. The hall is getting a makeover that will reduce the number of seats by 400, but allow for improvements, such as a wheelchair section on the first floor and more leg room in the first 10 rows. The renovations should be complete in time for the opening of the 2015-’16 season.

“Week in and week out, our musicians have performed with commitment, excellence and dedication to deliver a world-class musical experience to Western New York audiences,” said BPO Music Director JoAnn Falletta in a statement announcing the figures. “The community’s support inspires us to continue to achieve great things.”

“We are thankful to our donors and our concertgoers for another great year,” said BPO Executive Director Daniel Hart. “We look forward to building on our success from a position of strength, and continuing to serve the Western New York community which has responded so wholeheartedly to our endeavors.”