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Rochester Chamber Orchestra dissolves its operation after more than a half-century of making music

Sep 13, 2018
Originally published on September 12, 2018 4:17 pm

The Rochester Chamber Orchestra recently filed its papers to dissolve the organization.

Ray Grosswirth, who is President & Treasurer for the orchestra, says this is something officials with the group had been contemplating for a couple of years, hoping their financial situation would improve.

But he says the Rochester Chamber Orchestra, which has been around for 54 years, has been facing some of the same challenges that other performing arts organizations have had to deal with.

"We had to face the reality of an aging donor base, aging audience, diminishing funds and it just came to a point where we realized it was time to end the organization, we hated to do that, but we didn’t see any way out of this.”


Grosswirth says the orchestra was also competing against similar groups.

“In recent years we’ve seen an increase in small ensembles, so we were constantly up against competition.”

Grosswirth also says it has been tough attracting new audiences to their concerts, perhaps due in part to schools not teaching classical or baroque music as much as they may have done in the past.

“I don’t think chamber repertoire is being taught at the level it was years ago, so it’s a struggle to attract young audiences to a chamber concert.”

The Rochester Chamber Orchestra was mainly made up of musicians who also play with the Rochester Philharmonic.  There was a base of  about a dozen musicians, which increased during larger productions.

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