American Orchestras in Historical Recordings


Hartford Symphony Posts Record Ticket Sales for 2002-03 Season

HARTFORD, CT, June 7, 2003 - With increased subscription sales, growth in single ticket sales, and its strongest summer in its history, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra has posted the highest earned ticket revenue it has experienced in the last decade.

Ticket revenue for the just ended 2002-03 season was $2.3-million, a 15% increase over the previous season.

“The arrival of Edward Cumming as Music Director has energized both the Hartford Symphony and our community,” notes Charles Owens, Executive Director of the Orchestra. “Prior to Edward’s arrival, we had identified the need to calibrate our marketing to capitalize on our new artistic profile. And we wanted our new profile to be the catalyst in attracting new patrons.”

The process began with an audit by CRStager of the organization’s marketing strengths and its challenges. Next, CRStager aided the Hartford Symphony in addressing the written report’s key findings and implementing the summarized recommendations. By identifying and quantifying the organization’s marketing capacities and the climate in which it markets, marketing plans were written and executed.

“Christopher Stager very quickly defined the challenge of our market penetration,” Owens continues. “The Hartford Symphony operates on a modest budget in a community where advertising costs are relatively high. By wedding that challenge to Edward’s programming philosophy, he helped us concentrate our few marketing dollars in media that would deliver the highest return. Newspaper and radio advertising schedules were tested, analyzed and adjusted for the greatest efficiency, and targeted direct mail played a greater role than ever before. The final pieces of the puzzle were the accurate predictive sales models he built. These were invaluable in helping us pro-actively address both threats and sales opportunities weeks in advance of each performance, realizing the market potential of each program.”

Christopher Stager is a 19-year veteran of audience development, the last 15 of them in the performing arts. Current clients include The Cleveland Orchestra, the Boston Pops, Houston Grand Opera, the American Symphony Orchestra, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, and the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. CRStager marketing also provides creative materials to the Saint Louis Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, and numerous others.

Based in New York, CRStager marketing and audience development provides marketing counsel and creative materials to orchestras and presenters around the nation and has performed assessments of marketing efforts for orchestras across the country. Case studies and a schedule of services can be found at For a proposal, contact Christopher Stager at 917-940-1748.

Founded in 1934, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, with a budget of $5-million, is Connecticut’s largest orchestra, and the second largest in New England. Under the direction of Edward Cumming, the Orchestra performs an eight program season of Classical masterworks, six programs of Pops, four weekends in the summer, a series for families, holiday concerts, and two four-concert series that introduce new audience to classical music. The Hartford Symphony performs at the historic Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts.


Christopher Stager; CRStager Marketing and Audience Development – 917.940.1748.