Richmond Symphony
612 East Grace Street, #401
Richmond VA 23219
Mission Statement
Our Mission: The Richmond Symphony performs, teaches and champions music, to inspire and unite our communities.
Our Vision: Leading with artistic excellence, the Richmond Symphony will inspire and unite our community through the power of live music. 
Web and Social Media
Richmond Symphony Orchestra
CEO/Executive Director Mr. David J. L. Fisk
Board Chair Ms. Rebecca J. Horner
Board Chair Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Contact Information
Address 612 East Grace Street, #401
Richmond, VA 23219
Telephone 804 788-4717
Fax 804 788-1541
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1957
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expense Bar Graph - All Years
Expense Breakdown Bar Chart - All Years
Projected Revenue $5,765,811.00
Projected Expenses $5,764,811.00
Our Mission: The Richmond Symphony performs, teaches and champions music, to inspire and unite our communities.
Our Vision: Leading with artistic excellence, the Richmond Symphony will inspire and unite our community through the power of live music. 
1. Create great concerts that engage, challenge and delight our musicians and our patrons.
2. Build close and meaningful relationships between the Symphony and our patrons.
3. Raise our visibility to build public awareness to grow our audience.
4. Build an organizational culture with an emphasis on open communication, collaboration and shared ownership.
5. Ensure the Symphony's long-term sustainability and success. 
Financial Needs:
Annual Fund:  Unrestricted gifts to support the Symphony in any amount are  necessary for day-to-day operations.  Annual fund gifts offset costs like sheet music purchase and rental, transportation for musicians to and from schools throughout the region for in-school education performances and teaching, musician salaries, guest artist fees, and many, more activities that contribute our success as an organization.
Sponsorships:  Although we have series sponsors for our Masterworks, Pops and Lollipops series, we need concert sponsors for individual concerts within those series. These commitments afford wonderful visibility and benefits for underwriters. There are opportunities to present guest artists and very affordable sponsorship levels.  Sponsorships underwrite our artistic expenses associated with each concert such as hall rent, staffing and other costs.
Capitalization: We are committed to continuing to achieve a balanced budget, having posted a surplus for the last three fiscal years.  We have significantly reduced our accumulated deficit from years past and have been raising new funds to replenish the RSO Foundation’s Rainy Day Fund (cash reserve) to minimize our reliance on a line of credit for operations. A gift to Capitalization helps to ensure there are sufficient levels of operational funds and avoid relying on the credit line. The key is to continue to “pay back” to the Rainy Day Fund.  A gift to this fund strengthens our fiscal stability as we head into our 60thanniversary in the 2017/18 season.
 Big Tent Initiative: During the 2015/16 season the RSO will begin performing outdoor concerts in our new mobile stage.  With four outdoor concerts planned this season, donations towards this initiative will help make it possible for the RSO to bring live music, in a festival atmosphere, to exciting new venues in Richmond and the surrounding area. 


Founded in 1957 under the artistic direction of its first Maestro, Edgar Schenkman, the Richmond Symphony (RSO) has been an important part of the cultural life of the City of Richmond for more than 50 years. Music Directors of the RSO have included Jacques Houtmann, George Manahan, Mark Russell Smith, and currently Steven Smith. The RSO performed only three concerts in its inaugural year; today the orchestra and its component ensembles make more than 200 public appearances (including educational services) each season.

 As the largest professional performing arts organization in Central Virginia, the Richmond Symphony is a vital part of the cultural and economic fabric of the Richmond metropolitan area. During its 53 year history, the Richmond Symphony has touched more than 6,500,000 people with its music and nearly 2,700,000 children and youth have participated in its education programs.

 The Richmond Symphony has received seven awards for adventurous programming from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) and is a founding member of the Sphinx Commissioning Consortium, which is dedicated to building diversity in classical music by commissioning new work from African-American and other minority composers. In addition, the RSO is one of only nine orchestras in the nation who have participated in the 10-year long Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Orchestra Forum from its inception in 1998 through 2009.

 In the fall of 2009, the Richmond Symphony returned to its home, the Carpenter Theatre, now a part of the new Richmond CenterStage complex. The RSO is the primary presenter at CenterStage and the only resident company with offices in the complex. Since its opening concert in September 2009, the Symphony has seen unprecedented attendance to its Masterworks and Symphony Pops programming and great success with a new family series, LolliPops.  After a two-year world-wide search, Steven Smith was appointed the new Music Director of the Richmond Symphony in March 2010 and began his first full season as Music Director in September 2010.

Supported by a full-time professional staff of 20, the Richmond Symphony employs 36 full-time core musicians and additional contract musicians. One-hundred-fifteen volunteers make up the Richmond Symphony Chorus. The Board of Directors is led by Chairwoman Rebecca Horner, and consists of 39 active members. The Richmond Symphony Orchestra League is a separate non-profit dedicated to the support of the RSO and has more than 175 members who volunteer their time to fundraising, special events, and other activities. 
CEO Statement

Music expresses emotion in sound.  Perhaps that helps explain why music plays such a strong role in our lives. In fact, memories of events are often attached to musical memories.  Any time we hear that music, its effect is more powerful, because the music is so entwined with that memory.  We feel it.  In a wonderful way, then, when we hear music for the first time, it can inspire new emotional connection to our personal experiences.

 A beautiful mystery of live performance is how music affects all of us differently.  The drama, beauty, and shared experience of a live performance have no equal.  Live music conveys emotions ranging from joy to sorrow; from love to anger; from cal to surprise; giving all of us an opportunity to enjoy moments that are both personal and unique.  There is simply nothing else like it!
We are thrilled to announce that we are launching two exciting new initiatives for the 2015-16 season!  The first is a brand-new series we're calling Casual Fridays.  These relaxed hour-long concerts, with a bit of commentary, will focus on one or two orchestral works performed by the full orchestra in the Carpenter Theatre.  The second initiative is the move of our popular Rush Hour series to Hardywood Park Craft Brewery.  You can now add great beer to great music as the reason to experience these informal and intimate 60-minute performances that explore a wide variety of music.
 Our 2015-16 Richmond Symphony season offers you the best of orchestral music designed to touch each and everyone of us in a personal way.  Whether it's sorrow in Tchaikovsky's Manfred Symphony, the joy of Beethoven's Ninth Symphony or the love of Ravel's Deaphnis and Chloe , you have the opportunity to be changed by the experience.
I hope you are as excited as we are about the new season.  We can't wait for you to join us!
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Metro Richmond
Richmond, City
Chesterfield County
Hanover County
Henrico County
Powhatan County
Goochland County
The bulk of the Richmond Symphony's programs serve the City of Richmond and the Counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico. However, the Symphony tours throughout the state in various locations each season. Touring locations have included Staunton, Fredericksburg, Lawrenceville, South Boston, Culpeper, and Goochland.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Rebecca J. Horner
Company Affiliation Community Volunteer
Term July 2017 to June 2019
Board of Directors
Board Members
Philip H. Bennett KPMG LLP
Stuart Blain Union First Market Bank
John W. Braymer Virginia Society of the American Institute of Architects
Arthur S. Brinkley IIIMorgan Keegan
Priscilla Burbank Community Volunteer
Elizabeth Cabell-Jennings William & Mary
Josee G. Covington Covington Travel
Mark T. Cox IVDominion
Dr. Ronald Crutcher President, University of Richmond
Lisa Edwards-Burrs VCU
Ronald Ferguson US Trust
David J. L. Fisk Richmond Symphony
Steve Girard Markel
Cheryl Goddard Community Volunteer
Rebecca J. Horner Community Volunteer
Gavin D. Jeffs Owens & Minor, Inc.
Adele Johnson Richmond Public Schools Education Foundation
Brennen Keene McGuire Woods
Anne B. Kenny-Urban Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Sarah Knakmuhs Altria
Christopher Lindbloom Janney Montgomery Scott
J. Theodore Linhart The Linhart Company
George Mahoney Media General
Patrick McNulty Harris Williams
Patrick Murtaugh Hardywood Park Craft Brewery
Roger Neathawk ndp
Walter J. O'Brien Jr.Retired
Debra Pollock SunTrust Bank
Kamran Raika Raika Financial Consulting Group of Wells Fargo Advisors
Leon E. Roday Genworth
Rick Sample Rainbow Station International LLC.
William H. Schwarzschild IIIWilliams Mullen
Steven Smith Richmond Symphony
Richard Smith CarMax
Dr. Richard Szucs Commonwealth Radiology
Brandon Taylor Morgan Stanley
Marcia H. Thalhimer Community Volunteer
Chet G. Wade Dominion Resources
Ludi Webber Richmond Symphony Orchestra League
Mark P. Wickersham Hunton & Willams LLP
Susan S. Williams Community Volunteer
Elisabeth Muhlenfeld Wollan Community Volunteer
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 4
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 37
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 29
Female 13
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 0
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 11
Standing Committees
Strategic Planning / Strategic Direction
Communications / Promotion / Publicity / Public Relations
Donor Services
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Other Boards
The tables below contain information about other groups that advise this nonprofit on operations and projects.
Executive Director
Executive Director Mr. David J. L. Fisk
Experience Mr. Fisk joined the Richmond Symphony as its new executive director in June 2002. A native of Great Britain, Mr. Fisk had previously served as chief executive of the Ulster Orchestra Society, the national symphony of Northern Ireland. During his tenure, he developed strategies to expand educational and outreach programming, strengthen the orchestra's funding base, and raise its international profile through an increase in concert touring, recordings, and broadcasts. Among his accomplishments were the negotiation of a new three-year broadcasting contract with the BBC; new recording agreements with Naxos and Hyperion; a new contract with the Symphony's musicians incorporating updated working practices; the successful completion of tours to England, the Irish Republic, Hong Kong, New York, Eastern Europe, and the Netherlands; and the significant strengthening of the orchestra's relationships with Northern Ireland's 26 local governmental authorities. Prior to his service in Northern Ireland, Mr. Fisk served as general manager of the Orchestra of St. John's, Smith Square (London), one of the United Kingdom's principal chamber orchestras. He has also held the positions of development director for the Yorkshire Sculpture Park - the UK's leading open-air art gallery complex - and executive director of the award-winning Manchester International Festival of Expressionism 1992, which he instigated. Mr. Fisk holds an undergraduate degree in Music from Manchester University and a postgraduate diploma in Piano Accompaniment from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he also studied harpsichord, composition, and conducting. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2001.
Senior Staff
Mrs. Laura Bordner Adams Director of Orchestral Operations
Mr. R. Scott Dodson Director of Advancement & Patron Communications
Mrs. Aimee Halbruner Director of Education and Community Engagement
Ms. Gail Richmond Robinson Director of Finance and Administration
Full Time Staff 22
Part Time Staff 6
Contractors 72
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 5
Date Strategic Plan Adopted May 2013
The core of the Symphony's activities are its concert season performances which include four main series:
  • Altria Masterworks - Beloved masterpieces in the traditional European art music repertory, presented in the Symphony's home, the Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage. Pre-concert talks begin one hour before all Masterworks concerts.
  • Casual Fridays - One- hour concerts starting at 6:30 that showcase great works from the classical repertoire including a deeper look into that evening’s work, with a post concert happy hour across the street to round out the evening.

  • Genworth Symphony Pops - Lighter popular and classical favorites, featuring celebrated stage and screen performers at the Carpenter Theatre.
  • Metro Collection - Four intimate, engaging chamber orchestra concerts held at Randolph-Macon College that feature Richmond Symphony Musicians as soloists. 
  • Union Bank & Trust LolliPops - A series designed just for children and families, the LolliPops Series is a fun introduction to the orchestra. Pre-concert festival with an instrument petting zoo and musical activities begins an hour before each kid-friendly concert.
  • Rush Hour at Hardywood - One-hour informal concerts featuring great music and discussion in the Hardywood tasting room.

The Symphony presents two special concerts:
  • Handel's Messiah is a holiday classic featuring the Richmond Symphony Chorus.
  • Video Games Live™ is an immersive concert featuring music from the most popular video games of all time. The Richmond Symphony and a choir perform along with exclusive footage and music arrangements, synchronized lighting, and cutting edge video visuals to create an explosive entertainment experience with all the energy of a rock concert. Performance date: January 23, 2016 at the Altria Theater.

The RSO's Education Programs seek to "foster and develop diverse, informed audiences who value live symphonic music and music education in our community; to help nurture and develop young musicians; and to advocate for music education and orchestral music." Services include:
1) Musical Ambassadors Program (MAP) - Our 6 MAP ensembles perform more than 100 concerts annually in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout Central Virginia. More than 20,000 children are exposed to classical music each year through MAP.
2) Discovery Concerts - Interactive youth concerts that focus on the emotional power of symphony music and curricular themes for grades 3-8
3)  Youth Orchestra Program - Consists of 4 youth orchestras that provide beginner to advanced musical training
4) Orchestra Project - in collaboration with VCU, we have a one week String Intensive camp each summer for advanced players in grades 8 – 12 and a one week String Odyssey camp for middle and high school students with a minimum of one year of experience but who are ready to advance their skills.
Budget $200,000.00
Fiscal Year
Projected Revenue $5,765,811.00
Projected Expenses $5,764,811.00
Endowment Value $12,711,267.00
Spending Policy Percentage
Percentage (if selected) 5
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Detailed Financials
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201620152014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
Government Contributions$71,840$73,460$75,700
Individual Contributions$2,597,921$3,261,960$2,857,100
Investment Income, Net of Losses$6$42--
Membership Dues------
Special Events$22,019$88,102($4,104)
Revenue In-Kind$222,194$301,718$188,908
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201620152014
Program Expense$4,907,441$4,111,136$3,672,779
Administration Expense$421,873$671,498$600,849
Fundraising Expense$214,313$344,418$373,203
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses0.971.091.05
Program Expense/Total Expenses89%80%79%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue6%10%13%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201620152014
Total Assets$1,431,316$638,827$723,037
Current Assets$942,232$460,732$579,746
Long-Term Liabilities$950,000$330,000$790,000
Current Liabilities$912,772$834,349$907,196
Total Net Assets($431,456)($525,522)($974,159)
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities1.030.550.64
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201620152014
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets66%52%109%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
State Charitable Solicitaions Permit
Solicitations Permit
Solicitations Permit 5/2016View
Foundation Comments
  • Audited financial statements represent the financial position of both the Richmond Symphony and the Richmond Symphony Foundation.
  • IRS Form 990s represent the financial position of only the Richmond Symphony.