Just a year and a quarter ago it looked very much like the Louisville Orchestra had played their last symphony. They were out of money, and short on hope. The bankruptcy papers were drawn up and just waiting to be signed.
Then, a series of wonderful events occurred. First, the musicians agreed to a new contract that gave the Orchestra a chance to survive. Then, Brad Broecker agreed to be the new CEO and Jorge Mester came back as the musical director and conductor. Things started to pop after that.
Brad brought some imagination and risk taking to the Orchestra. Oh sure, they still perform wonderful classical selections and fun Pops concerts, but they sold out a special performance of music from the movie Lord of the Rings. Next season they are going to show Bugs Bunny cartoons and perform the music live. Then, they'll present The Wizard of Oz, where the singing is on film but the music is live. And on Friday night of this week they take another creative leap by performing music from video games at Whitney Hall.
Not all of this is for everyone, but I give Brad Broecker high marks for trying new things, for making the Orchestra appealing to a broader group of people, and for trying to reinvent the things a symphony orchestra can be.