There’s a wonderful article by Alex Ross in the May 16, 2022 edition of The New Yorker where the author declares the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra (SDSO) is one of “America’s Boldest Orchestras.”
Granted, he roped me in right out of the gate by framing the piece with a comparison of SDSO’s budget and the salary of Chicago Symphony’s music director.
The South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, the musical pride of Sioux Falls, has an annual budget of $2.3 million, which is microscopic by the standards of America’s leading orchestras. The Chicago Symphony spends more than that each year on Riccardo Muti’s salary. Nevertheless, the South Dakota Symphony is bolder and savvier in its programming than all but a handful of American ensembles.
The ever-sharp Ross chooses his words expertly. Describing SDSO’s programming as bold and savvy isn’t some attempt at being cagey, he goes on to walk readers through his rationale.
Since it’s a relatively short read, I won’t spoil anything else by highlighting more of the gems, just head on over and give the article a read.