Photo 2 Marcuse, Schroder handshake CREDIT PSO Staff Photo.jpg

PSO board chair Yvonne Marcuse, left, shakes hands with Princeton Festival board chair Benedikt von Schroder as the two organizations formalize their merger.

Two Princeton-area non-profit music organizations, the Princeton Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and the Princeton Festival, have merged to operate as a single legal entity known as Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Inc., the organizations announced.

The Princeton Festival will retain its name and continue going forward as an artistic program of the PSO alongside the Princeton Symphony Orchestra’s classical, pops, chamber music, and PSO BRAVO! education programs. The merger was formalized on June 10 and takes effect this summer.

Both organizations successfully pivoted to online platforms during the pandemic while being mindful of budgets and continued fundraising efforts. PSO Executive Director Marc Uys says, “The merger capitalizes on the strong positions and proven resiliency of both organizations coming out of the pandemic. With strong artistic leadership, we will pave the way to a new era of creativity, making high-quality performing arts more available to our community and beyond.”

The Princeton Festival Board Chair Benedikt von Schröder views the merger as a positive move. He says, “The merger will create a formidable combined organization with the creative, artistic, and financial strength providing a foundation for future growth in a challenging and much changed environment for the arts.”

Multiple Festival board members were nominated to the PSO board this month, and a Festival Advisory Board created. Two full-time members of the Festival staff will join the orchestra’s veteran administrative team.

PSO Edward T. Cone Music Director Rossen Milanov says, “We look forward to a cross-pollination of ideas and resources. Together, our creative team will capture the imagination and spark community dialogue with new music, cutting-edge operas, and fresh musical theater productions. We’re well-poised to earn Princeton a national reputation for live arts innovation.”

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