L.A. Philharmonic vs. Boston Symphony: Which Is the Largest Orchestral Operation?

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The Boston Symphony’s last non-profit tax returns gave them the bragging rights to call themselves “the world’s largest orchestral operation,” but that’s contentious given the growth of the L.A. Philharmonic in the recent years. For the 2011-2012 fiscal year, L.A. Philharmonic’s annual spending has exceeded Boston Symphony’s, spending $108.4 million while the Bostonians spent only $85.8 million. The L.A. Phil’s operations budget was simply 26% bigger. Their tax return also recorded that their performances and presentations generated a total of 912,673 ticket sales in 2011-2012.

Which one indeed is the largest? Are straightforward statements claiming one to be the largest orchestra such a bad thing at all? With the patronage for classical music dwindling and lockouts causing most small symphonies to struggle, musical face-offs stand a chance at generating significant attention for the classical orchestras.

This kind of competition would probably be indecorous, especially with the hopes of garnering stupendous media attention, but if the music is still good and the orchestras are placed at a brighter spotlight so that more public ears are paying attention, perhaps then it would be worth it.

More on this topic here: L.A. Philharmonic vs. Boston Symphony: Which Is the Largest Orchestral Operation?

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