Richard Simmons gives Pittsburgh Symphony $1 million
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Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra board members were treated to welcome news yesterday when board chairman Richard P. Simmons ended a meeting by presenting the orchestra with a $1 million check.
"We made one of the challenge grants," said Lawrence Tamburri, PSO president.
The challenge, as part of the Richard P. Simmons family's multi-faceted $29.5 million gift of 2006, gives the orchestra $1 million toward its endowment for every $5 million it raises in the current capital campaign, up to $5 million.
It softens the blow that the PSO did not end last season in the black and is not expecting to do so in the coming season due to the financial climate, according to Tamburri. That means the orchestra cannot start the process of unlocking another part of the Simmons pledge -- $17.5 million legacy gift given only after the PSO achieves three straight seasons of balanced budgets.
The man with the big check remains hopeful. "They have until 2016," said Simmons.
First Published September 9, 2009 12:00 am