The symphony is a staple in world class cities, but after this weekend San Antonio will suspend its symphony season.
Years of financial problems have led to the silencing of the musical program for this year. After much heated debate and discussion, the San Antonio Symphony's board voted to cancel the remaining concerts for this season.
"I am not going to pass judgment on the board on what they felt they needed to do," said violinist Craig Sorgi, who’s played with the symphony for 36 seasons. "It is unfortunate, and we are not happy about it."
A non-profit group had planned to take over the symphony this year, but financial problems caused the deal fall apart. About 72 players will be jobless, not including others on the management team.
"This puts the players in a situation of extreme hardship," Sorgi said.
The symphony, which has been around since the 30's, had roughly 20 weeks of concerts left. Sorgi said that the symphony is about the arts and educational influence it has on students.
"Our musicians go out into these schools and mentor these children into these programs," he said. "They augment what these wonderful orchestra and band directors are doing with these students."
He said they have an impact on the students’ development of intellect and talent.
"If the orchestra is gone, that collaboration is going to dwindle, possibly disappear," he said.
The symphony has been bankrupt before, and Sorgi said that a big issue is that lack of an endowment.
"We have to do this now, because this is on the only way this is going to survive into the future for the city,” he said.
Sorgi added that for their final performance, on Sunday, his fellow musicians will give 150 percent. In terms of its long-term future, that is still a big question.
"We are going to give the best performance that we possibly can, which is what we always do," he said.
KENS 5 reached out to the symphony's management for comment, but we have not received a response yet. The symphony administration did release the following statement:
"In light of the decision by the San Antonio Symphony's Board of Directors to suspend the operations of the symphony at midnight on January 7, 2018 and cancel the remainder of the 2017-2018 season, all tickets purchased for shows scheduled after this weekend's performances are being refunded. Your purchase will be refunded to the original transaction credit card, or if purchased by cash or check we will mail a check to the name and address on the original transaction. If you have any questions, please be contact the Tobin Center Box Office at 210-223-8624 and one of our customer service representatives will be happy to assist."
All purchased tickets will be fully refunded. Refunds will be issued automatically if purchased via credit card or through the mail if purchased via cash or check at the Tobin Center Box Office. Ticket holders with any questions are invited to call the Tobin Center Box Office at 210-223-8624.