Delaware Symphony to Suspend Next Season

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The Delaware Symphony Orchestra, which was founded in 1929, has suspended operations for next season because of a lack of financial support.

In a statement on its web site, the orchestra said it cannot sustain its current programming plans and it will spend the summer analyzing its operations before coming up with a new business plan. As part of the restructuring, the board will also be reorganized. The orchestra is in contract negotiations with its musicians.

The News Journal of Wilmington, Del. reports that the orchestra hopes to relaunch its 2012-13 season with new programming. Its scheduled season, led by conductor David Amado, was to have featured an opening-night concert with piano soloist Jean-Yves Thibaudet in Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.

The suspension comes just a year after the orchestra announced some fundraising successes, including a $1 million gift from Tatiana Copeland, a former board member (and Rachmaninoff's niece). That gift doubled the orchestra's endowment and was followed by matching grants from the board.

In 2010, the orchestra received a Latin Grammy nomination for its first commercially released recording: "Interchange" with the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

But Delaware's nonprofit arts community has been struggling financially since the economic downturn in 2008.

In its statement, the orchestra said it will "pursue the development of a financially viable operational model," adding "The next step will be to test the model through a newly created 2012-13 performance season."