October 16, 2019

MSO’s Grand Future Campaign Begins Rousing Finale
Fundraising Currently Exceeds $120 Million Towards Goal of $139 Million


Milwaukee, Wis. 10.16.2019 – The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) announced today that it has raised $120,256,951 towards its historic Grand Future Campaign from individuals, foundations and corporations. Building upon this generous and transformational support, the MSO will now begin the final phase of the campaign by engaging additional members of the community who are also invested in the future of the MSO and the performing arts in Milwaukee.

The Grand Future Campaign began as a donor-led initiative to restore the historic Warner Grand Theater into a spectacular performance venue for the MSO.  In addition, the campaign seeks to increase the endowment for the ongoing benefit of future programming and complete other initiatives to best position the MSO for the long-term.

“This is the largest campaign ever in the history of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, cementing Milwaukee’s reputation as a culturally significant home and destination for generations to come,” said Mark Niehaus, president and executive director of the MSO. “Words cannot adequately express our gratitude for the donors who committed so generously to this project in our early phase.  Thanks to their confidence and support, we have already broken ground on a new future for the MSO and for West Wisconsin Avenue. This early support also allowed us to plan so that we could remain on time and on budget, meeting critical milestones throughout the duration of the project. During this final phase of the campaign, we are now looking forward to inviting our patrons, neighbors, and the broader community to join us in seeing the community’s vision for the MSO through to completion.”

Given the early and substantial support for the campaign, the MSO is less than a year away from opening the doors to the new Milwaukee Symphony Center located at 212 West Wisconsin Avenue. Deliberate, intricate efforts are underway to restore the historic theater to its former grandeur, with modern day amenities being carefully woven in to ensure a one-of-a kind, first class patron experience. This includes comfortable seating with ideal sightlines, pristine acoustics, various community, education and collaboration spaces, onsite catering, ease of navigation to and within the hall, and more.

Included in this final phase is a seat campaign. Anyone will have the opportunity to sponsor a seat for gifts from $2,500 to $10,000 per seat. Seats will be named for 15-year terms.  For more information, please visit www.mso.org/grand.

Early Leadership Donors:

  • Donna and Donald Baumgartner
  • The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation
  • Murph and John Burke
  • Bobbi and Jim Caraway
  • Franklyn and Barbara Esenberg
  • Herzfeld Foundation
  • George and Donna Kaiser
  • The Estate of Jane Kaiser
  • Donald and JoAnne Krause
  • Billie Kubly
  • Arthur and Nancy Laskin
  • Sheldon and Marianne Lubar
  • The Marcus Corporation
  • The Marcus Corporation Foundation
  • Mary Vandenberg and Keith Mardak
  • Rite-Hite Foundation
  • Michael and Jeanne Schmitz
  • Bud and Sue Selig
  • The Estate of Barbara Abert Tooman
  • David and Julia Uihlein
  • We Energies Foundation

About the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, led by Music Director Ken-David Masur, is among the finest orchestras in the nation and the largest cultural institution in Wisconsin. Since its inception in 1959, the MSO has found innovative ways to give music a home in the region, develop music appreciation and talent among area youth, and raise the national reputation of Milwaukee. The MSO’s 72 full-time professional musicians perform over 135 classics, pops, family, education, and community concerts each season in venues throughout the state. A pioneer among American orchestras, the MSO has performed world and American premieres of works by John Adams, Roberto Sierra, Phillip Glass, Geoffrey Gordon, Marc Neikrug, and Matthias Pintscher, as well as garnered national recognition as the first American orchestra to offer live recordings on iTunes. Now in its 48th season, the orchestra’s nationally syndicated radio broadcast series, the longest consecutive-running series of any U.S. orchestra, is heard annually by more than two million listeners. The MSO's standard of excellence extends beyond the concert hall and into the community, reaching more than 40,000 children and their families through its Arts in Community Education (ACE) program, Youth and Teen concerts, and Family Series.