Letter from Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Springer

Dear Mr. Frankel,

As a longtime symphony patron and Detroit booster we have some questions and concerns that I would like you to address.

  • Is it true that the DSO has had four Vice Presidents of development in the last four years?
  • Is it true that the Donor base has been reduced from 25,000 in 1996 to less than 5,000 now?
  • Is it true that the DSO management hired as its Chief Financial Officer a man who was being tried for, and subsequently plead guilty to,  inciting a riot in Ohio?
  • Is it true that the DSO lost overall ticket sales the year “The Max” opened?
  • Is it true that the banquet facilities and education wing, as well as the Music Box recital hall sit largely empty and unused?
  • Is it true that Management has refused to negotiate in good faith with the musicians towards a new contract starting in the 2010-2011 season?

If the above is true, or even mostly true, one must conclude that the management of the DSO is at best lacking the skills to effectively support and promote a major symphony orchestra, and at worst downright negligent.

The musicians of the DSO perform week after week to glowing reviews and enthusiastic audiences.  It has maintained its reputation as one of the countries top orchestras, even while taking significant pay cuts in the last two contract negotiations.  No one has ever questioned the artistic integrity or the high level of musicianship displayed by the orchestra itself.

All of the above begs the question:  If the musicians are excelling at their job, but management is failing at theirs, then why are the musicians once again being asked to make the sacrifices that will keep the symphony afloat?

In closing, I implore you to find a way to fix the problems with management, and thus keep the DSO in the ranks of the world’s best orchestras.


Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Springer, Sylvan Lake



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