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January 19, 2023

Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announces retirement of debt in FY22

INDIANAPOLIS — At the annual meeting on Tuesday, January 17, 2023, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra announced that it retired its bank debt in the fiscal year that ended August 31, 2022, ending the year free of debt for the first time since 2001. In the annual report released this week, the ISO announced revenues of $22.7 million and expenses of $22.8 million, nearly achieving a balanced budget despite ticket sales not yet returning to pre-pandemic levels. The preliminary report is available here.

The 2021-22 season marked the ISO’s first full season of in-person events since the 2018-19 season. Spanning the DeHaan Classical Series, the Printing Partners Pops Series and the Film Series presented by Bank of America, the 2021-22 season also saw the debut of the Uncharted Series featuring conductor and creator Steve Hackman. The world premiere of Resurrection Mixtape, which blends Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony with the music of Tupac Shakir and Notorious B.I.G., was performed before a near sell-out crowd in 2022. The concert returns to Hilbert Circle Theatre this season on April 12, 2023.

“The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is deeply grateful for the support of our community during the past year,” said James Johnson, CEO. “Along with the guidance of the Society and Foundation, the dedication of our musicians, staff, and volunteers is an essential component of our efforts to emerge from the pandemic stronger. As we look ahead to a long-term strategic planning process, the ISO is honored to have access to the valuable expertise of all of our constituents. We look forward to an engaging dialogue that envisions a dynamic, sustainable future for the ISO in central Indiana.”

Other highlights from the 2021-22 season include:

To provide musical leadership, for the first time in its history, the ISO appointed an Artistic Advisor, Jun Märkl, to serve while the search for the next music director is ongoing. Märkl began his appointment in 2021-22, conducting several concert programs each season, giving overall direction to classical music programming, and assisting in hiring and evaluating new musicians.

Another critical step in providing consistent artistic leadership was the announcement in August 2022 of Jack Everly’s retention as Principal Pops Conductor through the 2025-26 season and an evergreen appointment as AES Indiana Yuletide Celebration Music Director.

The musical highlights in the 2021-22 season included a new collaboration with the Detroit-based Sphinx Organization to promote diversity in classical music, a partnership that resulted in four free concerts throughout the community.

The ISO continues to make strides to highlight composers from diverse cultures whose music has been unjustly neglected, including 20 composers featured as part of the Unheard Voices initiative in 2021-22. Among those featured were Florence Price, Jessie Montgomery, Carlos Chavez and many more.

The AES Indiana Yuletide Celebration was “Magic Worth the Wait” when host Sandi Patty and vocal group T.3 joined Jack Everly and the orchestra in welcoming nearly 30,000 holiday revelers to Hilbert Circle Theatre.

To close out the season, the musicians of the ISO returned for the 40th anniversary season of Kroger Symphony on the Prairie – performing ten concerts with orchestra in a season that saw attendance come back strong with nearly 72,000 people attending.

Learning Community programs including the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and Teddy Bear concerts (presented by the Colts) continued serving hundreds of children and their families. Discovery Concerts (presented by Community Health Network) also resumed.

About the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

The Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, at home and thriving in the heart of Indianapolis, offers an exceptional artistic and musical experience. The orchestra is open to all and dedicated to creating an inclusive and innovative experiential environment that is inspiring, educational, and welcoming. The ISO celebrates historically beloved performances while engaging audiences by introducing new voices through programming including the DeHaan Classical Series, the Printing Partners Pops Series, the holiday traditions of AES Indiana Yuletide Celebration and the popular Film Series presented by Bank of America.

2021-22 Annual Report