February 13, 2020
The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Proudly Presents the Bradley Symphony Center
Combined $52 million gift honors Harry and Peg Bradley
Milwaukee, Wis. Feb. 13, 2020 -- The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) announced today that its new performance home will be called the “Bradley Symphony Center.” Named in honor of Harry and Peg Bradley, the Bradley Symphony Center will stand in tribute to their family’s lasting impact on Milwaukee’s civic and cultural landscape.
The naming follows David and Julia Uihlein, Lynde Uihlein, and The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation gifting a total of $52 million toward the renovation of the former Warner Grand Theater into a dedicated performance home for the MSO. The Jane Bradley Pettit Foundation also made a significant gift. David Uihlein and Lynde Uihlein are the grandchildren of Harry and Peg Bradley. Their mother, Jane Bradley Pettit, was Harry and Peg’s daughter.
In addition, Bradley Symphony Center’s 1,650 seat concert hall will be named Allen-Bradley Hall, honoring the men and women who built the Allen-Bradley Company into a prosperous global technology enterprise. Allen-Bradley was founded in 1903 by Lynde and Harry Bradley and sold to Rockwell International in 1985.
“The MSO and its exceptional musicians represent the very best of the values Harry and Peg held so dear – hard work, determination, and giving of one’s gifts to others,” said David Uihlein. “My grandparents believed deeply in the importance of a robust civil society and the critical role cultural institutions like the MSO have in building vibrant communities. As generations pass from one to the next, we must continue to nurture these institutions as they connect us to the past and inspire us to imagine the future. On behalf of my wife Julia, my sister Lynde, and our extended families, we are thrilled the Bradley Symphony Center will honor Harry and Peg’s legacy by being a home for future generations of thinkers and creators. We extend our gratitude to The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation for joining us on this journey as well.”
Peg Bradley’s interest in the MSO dates back to its earliest days when she gave both time and treasure to help establish a world-class orchestra in Milwaukee. Continuing her and Harry’s legacy of generosity, The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation has been among the MSO’s longest and most engaged supporters.
“The Bradley/Uihlein family and The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation have generously supported the MSO for decades,” said Mark Niehaus, president and executive director of the MSO. “Over those many years, they have been both tireless advocates and critical partners, pushing our leaders and our Board to think and act strategically to ensure the MSO’s future and its lasting impact on Milwaukee. We are honored to name the MSO’s new performance home after the Bradley family, whose tremendous impact on the MSO and Milwaukee is immeasurable.”
“The Bradley Foundation is proud to support the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra’s future home, the Bradley Symphony Center. The new hall will be a cultural landmark in Milwaukee for generations to come and will reinvigorate Wisconsin Avenue, a vital area of our city,” said Rick Graber, president and CEO of The Bradley Foundation. “This gift is particularly meaningful because the Bradley brothers were deeply committed to the arts, believing that they are essential to a vibrant civil society. Music in particular brings people from very different backgrounds together and strengthens our sense of community. The foundation is thankful to David and Julia Uihlein and Lynde Uihlein for their vision to restore a local architectural treasure and for their commitment to a thriving symphony orchestra. We look forward to the Bradley Symphony Center’s opening and its lasting impact on Milwaukee.”
The donor-driven initiatve to renovate the Warner Grand Theater into the Bradley Symphony Center is led by David and Julia Uihlein. They recognized that the Warner Grand Theater’s size, accessible location and outstanding acoustics, along with its grandeur and rich history, would deliver a one-of-a-kind, first-class patron experience, spur additional development along West Wisconsin Avenue, and better position the MSO for long-term financial, operational, and creative success.
Opening in the fall of 2020, the Bradley Symphony Center will include not only Allen-Bradley Hall, but engaging community, education and collaboration spaces, a new two-story glass pavilion and a 12-story Art Deco office building. The office building will serve as home to the MSO’s administration and community education offices, as well as house catering facilities, multipurpose studios, and a musicians’ library.
While the creation of the Bradley Symphony Center has been the most visible aspect of the campaign, the effort also includes expanding the MSO’s endowment for the ongoing benefit of future programming and eliminating the liability associated with the MSO’s previous pension plan. In total, over $128 million has been raised by committed patrons, foundations, corporations and others invested in the MSO and its role in Milwaukee’s ongoing renaissance. Opportunities to support the campaign, including additional naming opportunities, can be found at mso.org/grand.
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.
Founded in 1985, the Milwaukee-based Bradley Foundation supports organizations that strengthen families and communities, inform and educate citizens, advance economic growth and encourage self-reliance. The Foundation’s approach to philanthropy is guided by four core principles: fidelity to the U.S. Constitution with its principles of limited government, federalism, separation of powers, and individual liberties; commitment to free markets; dedication to the formation of informed and capable citizens; and commitment to the institutions of civil society that cultivate individuals capable of self-governance.