The RSO shapes the cultural life of our region by delivering exceptional, inclusive musical experiences that enrich, entertain and educate.
As an indispensable and integral part of the vibrancy of our community, over the next five years the Richmond Symphony Orchestra (RSO) will build an endowment of committed gifts that supports a minimum of one-half total annual expenditures. This will create financial sustainability and ensure the RSO continues to be an effective driver of economic development, making the region an attractive place to live and work for this and future generations.
Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
To support a full creative life for all, Richmond Symphony Orchestra commits to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, equitable community.
Under the 25-year leadership of Guy Victor Bordo, the RSO has expanded to include a six-season concert series, an annual youth competition, three children’s concerts, an instrument introduction program and numerous community events.
The Richmond Symphony Orchestra has origins going back to 1908, but it was professionalized and incorporated in 1956 by Manfred Blum. Richmond continues to be one of the smallest communities (if not the smallest) to nurture and support a professional symphony orchestra for 60 consecutive years.
The Richmond Symphony Orchestra: Who We Are
The Richmond Symphony Orchestra (RSO) is in its 65th season and under the leadership of its third music director. Maestro Guy Victor Bordo has announced his retirement at the end of the 2021-2022 season after 25 years as the RSO’s conductor. The RSO is a professional orchestra drawing musicians from the tri-state area as well as accomplished students from the University of Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. The RSO annually issues 70 contracts to our musicians.
The RSO exists to shape the cultural life of our region by delivering exceptional, inclusive musical experiences that enrich, entertain and educate. The organization is an indispensable and integral part of the vibrancy of the Richmond community and an effective driver of the economy, injecting $775,000+ in economic impact annually. The Board of Directors remains committed to building an endowment that will create financial sustainability and ensure the longevity of the RSO, making the region an attractive place to live and work for future generations. At each turn, the RSO strives to support a full creative life for all and is committed to championing policies and practices of cultural equity that empower a just, inclusive, equitable community.
Subscription Concert Programming
Season programming includes a six-concert subscription series with five Classical concerts and
one Pops concert. In addition, the RSO traditionally hosts 3-4 guest artists per season.
Youth programming is a priority to the RSO. Our young artist competition and numerous
children’s concerts provide free programming that serve 3,500 children annually.
Our community concert series supports 10 free events annually and has assisted RSO in
attracting new audiences. The RSO’s Signature Event has become one of the most highly
anticipated fundraisers of the year, attracting an audience of over 500.
Leadership and Administration
The RSO is poised to set a new, strategic vision for the organization and is seeking a Music Director with new, innovative ideas that will attract new audiences while collaborating with the Executive Director and Board of Directors.
The RSO embraces and celebrates that Richmond is one of the smallest communities to nurture and support a professional symphony orchestra for over six decades. Our longevity is due to sound decision-making through the years. RSO finds itself in a very strong position both in terms of leadership and finances. The Board of Directors is made up of 23 members and 6 Lifetime Directors. The Executive Director has served the organization since 2013 and serves as an essential face, representing the RSO in the community. The Personnel Manager maintains strong connections in the tri-state area and has held the position for over 25 years.
Under the leadership of the current Executive Director, with a strong Board and Music Director’s collaboration, financially, the organization is solid, operating in the black every year since 2014. The annual budget is nearly $450,000 and the current endowment supports just over 20% of that.
The Board of Directors prioritizes competitive pay and is in the midst of a five-year plan to
increase service fees, understanding the importance of attracting the finest musicians in the region.
The Artistic Advisory committee is a listening post for our patrons, gathering and reporting
feedback from patrons that influence future programming.