The Detroit Symphony Orchestra has a balanced budget for the first time in years. The DSO has struggled recently, with $6 million dollar deficits, one of the largest budget deficits of any orchestra in the nation. A musician's strike in 2011 that was also tough on morale.
It’s been six years since the last time the DSO has been in the black. It has also built a growing fan base, at a time when symphonies are struggling with an aging audience.
Most of that audience is actually watching online, in countries like France, Germany, even China. More than 200,000 people viewed webcast concerts this year, and some of them became donors.
"Some of them are giving every time they tune into the webcast, which is very nice. But they're the silent majority who have started to become part of our permanent audience," says Paul Hogle, the DSO's executive vice president.
When you count the online audience, the DSO claims it now has the biggest classical orchestra audience in the country.