Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

Why does the mso need a dedicated symphony hall?

The MSO has been considering moving to its own venue for some time. Ownership of a dedicated space is the single most important step the MSO can take in securing its long-term viability, allowing for increased revenue generation and control over its performance calendar, which is imperative when scheduling high-profile guests.

In addition to addressing these basic needs, this project will reinvigorate the MSO, allowing us to expand and diversify our events and schedule more high-profile guest performers, while creating additional space that will increase performance and cultural arts opportunities for the City of Milwaukee. It will enhance the patron experience for our guests and also signal to the community, and the world, that Milwaukee is a premier destination for the cultural arts and is dedicated to providing a top-notch performance experience for their dedicated patrons.

 

why can’t the mso stay at its current venue?

The MSO simply cannot generate the revenue necessary to secure our financial viability in our current situation. The inability to control our own schedule at our primary venue undermines our strategy and is easily the largest remaining barrier to our long-term viability. We are the only major orchestra without our own dedicated performance venue and, much like the Milwaukee Rep, we have outgrown our space. A strategic planning process conducted by outside experts concluded that securing a dedicated space is the single most important strategic initiative facing the MSO today.

 

WHEN WILL THE WARNER GRAND THEATER OPEN?

The MSO’s 2020-2021 season will begin at the Warner Grand Theater in the Fall of 2020.

 

What will the patron experience be like?

Every aspect of the Milwaukee Symphony Center has been designed with the patron in mind. From the state-of-the-art acoustics of the concert hall to ample and accessible amenities throughout the theater, we have taken great care to ensure the best possible experience for our patrons before, during, and after a concert. The renovation of the Historic Warner Grand Theater and Symphony Center will offer patrons:

  • A one-of-a-kind, first-class experience
  • Tremendous grandeur and rich history
  • Superior, state-of-the-art acoustics
  • A 1,650-seat theater optimized for dynamic pricing and maximizing revenue, as well as 150 additional seats in the chorus loft that will be available for purchase during non-chorus events
  • 1930s ambience with 21st century amenities
  • Easy access to covered parking and public transportation
  • Multiple aisles for accessibility

 

DOES THIS MEAN YOU HAVE RAISED ALL THE FUNDS NECESSARY to complete Construction?

The ultimate success of this effort is still very much dependent on the generosity of our community.  We are grateful that the response during the campaign’s quiet phase has been exceptionally positive.  Our hope is that the people of Milwaukee will join us in this journey and help us see this campaign through to the finish.

 

HOW MUCH DO YOU HAVE LEFT TO RAISE?

At nearly 85% of our $139M goal, we are thrilled by the overwhelming response to-date. Our campaign is comprised of four segments:

  • Symphony Hall -- $89M to acquire and renovate the historic theater and office tower, and to build-out two new additions to house modern amenities for our 21st Century audience
  • Endowment -- $20M to increase our current endowment to match the needs of an orchestra of the MSO’s size and caliber
  • Pension -- $6M to eliminate the continuing expense of frozen pension, costing the MSO $650K-$750K annually
  • Bridge Funding -- $24M to bolster the MSO’s operating fund through the life of the campaign (2015 – 2020)

 

are donor benefits and naming opportunities available?

Capital campaign donors receive special benefits for the first year in the new hall. Additionally, donors can name a seat in the new hall, with levels ranging from $2,500 to $10,000. Click here for more information on our seat sponsorship campaign, or contact Celeste Baldassare, Campaign Manager, at 414.226.7860 to learn more about naming opportunities in the new Milwaukee Symphony Center.

 

WHERE WILL WE PARK AT THE WARNER GRAND THEATER?

The Milwaukee Symphony has placed a high priority on convenient parking for our patrons. Please refer to the Parking Page.

 

HOW MANY SEATS ARE IN THE WARNER GRAND THEATER?

The Warner Grand Theater has approximately 1800 seats. 1650 of these seats are spread between the orchestra level and balcony. Additionally, the 150 seat chorus risers on the stage behind the orchestra may be available for patrons when the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus is not performing with the orchestra.   

 

WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO SELECT MY SEATS?

Renewing subscribers will be the first to select their seats for the 2020.21 season, beginning in spring 2020. New subscriptions and single tickets will go on sale in summer 2020.