April 18


An orchestra tries small budget, big ideas

As the San Antonio Symphony heads into its 2013 season under a cloud of recrimination and financial uncertainty, the lean young Chamber Orchestra of San Antonio is pioneering another classical-music model. The company, which is celebrating its inaugural season this fall, plans only the schedule it can fund. Its first performance of the 2012-13 season, scheduled October 26 at the Pearl, is fully underwritten, and more than 60 percent of the year’s $115,000 budget is committed or in the bank.

The Chamber Orchestra’s short-term goals are correspondingly modest: six to eight performances annually over the next three to five years; eight to 10 by the end of the decade. Their plans also include an annual interdisciplinary arts festival in conjunction with the Tobin Performing Arts Center, which is scheduled to open in 2014.

“But those seasons will be dictated by what the public wants and will support,” Mario Vazquez, chairman of the COSA board, said.

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