Music Director Hans Graf came to Houston shortly after Tropical Storm Alison and 9-11 and right before labor disputes with musicians. Things have turned around since then. Houston Symphony Executive Director and CEO Matthew VanBesien says having Graf stay on as music director is important to the continuity of the symphony. VanBesien says Graf goes beyond setting the artistic vision for the ensemble.
"But also has a great handle on how we need to integrate ourselves into the community, how we need to have all the other pieces around the symphony to support that artisitic vision."
VanBesien says the symphony is on stronger footing. The symphony reports single ticket sales have tripled during the past three years. And subscription sales are strong also.
"We've added these past two years, 1,000 new subscribers each of those years and we are anticipating at least that for the coming 2007-2008 season. So we couldn't be more proud about the fact that the symphony in Houston is improving its position."
The symphony and musicians also recently came to a three year collective bargaining agreement. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.