Hawaii Symphony Orchestra will play on for two more years

Hawaii Symphony Orchestra (Photo: Courtesy)

The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra has reached an agreement with its musicians to keep the symphony playing for another two years.

The agreement runs through June 30, 2016, and covers 84 musicians with Musicians Association of Hawaii, the majority of whom have performed with the symphony for more than 10 years.

The agreement includes two additional weeks in each year to accommodate more diverse programming and outreach.

“The musicians have been extremely helpful and flexible during our first two seasons,” said HSO director Jonathan Parrish, who was hired from the ranks of the orchestra itself in November 2013. “With the news that we are projecting to close the books this season with a balanced budget, and the soon-to-be announced third season, we hope this agreement demonstrates that the HSO is committed to building a sustainable organization and bringing the very best artists and symphonic performances to the state.”

The upcoming season opens September 13 and 14 with a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Neal Blaisdell Concert Hall. On Sept. 13, 1964, the symphony performed for the formal opening of the venue and has performed concerts, ballets and operas there ever since.

The anniversary program will offer selections performed for the 1964 opening, along with a brand new ballet commission featuring the Oahu-based Onium Ballet Project and the wildly popular Bolero by Ravel. Stuart Chafetz, who has performed in the venue as a member of the orchestra and conductor for 25 years, will be on the podium.

“It is gratifying to see the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra moving forward in a positive way,” said Brien Matson, president, Musicians Association of Hawaii. “It is great to be working with the board and staff toward continuing to provide the state of Hawaii with the high-quality orchestra it deserves.”

Subscription renewals for the 2014-2015 season are under way and the full season will be announced soon.

The symphony is also launching a new box office solution that will offer more purchasing and ticket delivery options to patrons. The new system, called SRO4, is based on the same platform used by Major League Baseball, adapted for the performing arts. It is set to go live by mid-July.

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