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Ann Arbor, MI (July 15, 2021) — The Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra has received a grant totaling $171,341.05 from the United States Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program.

The grant is one piece of a financial plan that will enable the orchestra to present a full, in-person concert season at the Michigan Theater and the University of Michigan’s Hill Auditorium, beginning with a Sept. 10 performance by the full orchestra that will feature works by Tchaikovsky and Brahms. The debut concert will also launch A²SO’s search for its next music director and conductor, which was delayed due to the pandemic. The search will bring eight conductor candidates to Ann Arbor over the course of the 2021-2022 season with the goal of naming the orchestra’s next artistic leader next summer.

Since the orchestra gave its last in-person performance in March 2020, the organization has lost over 80% of its expected ticket revenue. Performances that were originally scheduled to take place in 2020 and the first half of 2021 were reformatted as scaled-down virtual concerts for ticket holders and subscribers.

“The Ann Arbor Symphony acted quickly to develop a plan to create performance opportunities for our artists,” said A²SO Executive Director Tyler Rand.“We worked closely with our musicians to implement safety measures—including testing and distancing—which allowed them to gather safety to make music for our virtual audiences. We also collaborated with the musicians’ union to send relief payments to our artists and guaranteed payments even to those musicians who could not perform in our virtual concerts.”

The A²SO Board of Directors approved a two-year recovery budget plan in June 2020 that included increased support from the organization’s donors and corporate sponsors as well as from government programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program. This support allowed the organization to retain its full-time staff and to  provide community offerings such as a virtual Teacher Resource Hub for local schools and teachers.

“We absolutely would not be able to plan for a full return to our audiences this fall without the generous support we received from our community,” said Rand “The orchestra is incredibly grateful to our donors, corporate sponsors, foundations, and to our state and local government for providing a sustainable path out of this pandemic and back to our venues.”

Season subscriptions to the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s 2021-22 season and music director search are now available for purchase at tickets.A2SO.com or by calling 734-994-4801. Single tickets are available online and at the box office beginning August 23, 2021.


The A²SO is a premier regional orchestra offering live and virtual performance of symphonic music to over 80,000 patrons of all ages in venues ranging from the historic Michigan Theater and Hill Auditorium as well as schools, daycares, libraries, farmers markets, and various senior citizen centers in the five-county area. For tickets visit a2so.com, email tickets@a2so.com, or call 734.994.4801.