The Toronto Symphony Orchestra recently received the largest single private donation in its 97-year history. The estate of H. Thomas Beck and his wife Mary bequeathed $10 million to the TSO – and CEO Matthew Loden says the money will be used for a number of purposes, including the financing of some health and wellness concerts.
“It’s fantastic,” Loden tells Samaritanmag. “And the way they’ve given the money is unrestricted. Mary and Tom Beck wanted to make sure that the TSO could use the money in the best way possible for the organization.
“In large part, what (the gift) helps us to do is become the cornerstone for our artistic and strategic planning going forward. It helps us to plan more for the future, but it also had an immediate impact on retiring some of our accumulated deficit, which is critically important. In 2013, our accumulated deficit was $12 million and now it’s $2.6 million. That’s fantastic compared to where we’ve been. “
Loden is also enthused about the opportunity this gives the TSO to engage in such health and wellness programs as “relaxed concerts,” designed to appeal to the autistic community.
“It’s a relaxed concert for anyone who may be neuro-atypical,” he explains. “We did a regular performance, but we changed the experience in the hall. We had a safe room and fidget spinners and we trained the orchestra in working with some autism specialists on trying to put on a performance for a very special group of people that never ever come to concerts.
“Doing more of those kinds of programs in the community is really important to us. It’s an important gift because it helps us to have some breathing room in order to pull some of those programs off.”
It’s also not the first time the TSO has encountered the generosity of the Becks; they donated $10 million during the orchestra’s earlier years. — Continue reading at Samaritanmag.com