Reporting Bob Roberts
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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Chicago Symphony Orchestra is taking a hard look at expanding its presence in the western suburbs. But it is not yet time to get in line for tickets.
CSO President Deborah Rutter describes the talks as being in their early stages. But she said in an interview with WBBM Newsradio that she is encouraged by the warm reception from DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin, from the Choose DuPage economic development group and from the Arranmore Center for the Performing Arts, near Oswego, as well as the results of a marketing survey that shows great similarities between the potential market in DuPage County and the average concertgoer at Symphony Center.
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“What we really are looking to understand from the western suburbs right now is what do they want to hear. What types of programs are they especially interested in and excited about hearing,” she said. “That will help us make decisions.”
Rutter says the CSO regularly gets requests for performances around the world, and said is was too early to say what form or how many concerts could be performed in the western suburbs, what the venue would be, pricing structure or much else definitive, including whether a west suburban presence would have any impact on its current homes at Symphony Center and at Ravinia Festival.
The CSO has played once a year in the western suburbs for the past two years, and Rutter said it has been well-received. And she said it is often difficult for west suburban residents to get to Symphony Center, much less to Ravinia.
She said that after 120 years, the CSO remains solid financially, despite difficulties faced by major orchestras in a number of other cities, and said CSO leadership wants to make sure it remains robust financially for the next 120 years.