The Battle For the ‘Richest Orchestra’ Title

By Michael Vincent on August 29, 2022

In the world of endowments, Boston is king. The orchestra’s funds added a staggering $21.3M to its coffers between 2019 and 2020.

The big three

  • Boston
  • Chicago
  • San Fransisco

Most surprising

You would have thought for glitz and glamour in the SoCal sunshine, La Phil would land in the top three.  But according to the data, San Francisco’s smaller-town feel with big-name sights makes them the wealthier orchestra.

Why endowments matter

Endowments were first used to subsidize operations and provide long-term stability. The trick has served the oldest orchestras well. Not only do they allow orchestras to generate extra income in good times, but they also offer leverage to help protect them in deficit years.

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