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June 29, 2005

Symphony receives $1 million endowment gift, balances budget

Symphony Silicon Valley announced the creation of a permanent endowment fund today, with a one million dollar donation given for that purpose by Symphony Trustee John Griffin and his wife Hazel Griffin. At a garden reception at the home of Symphony Board Chair Peter Cartwright, founder and Chairman of Calpine, Inc., to celebrate the gift, Griffin stated, "I have been deeply impressed by the artistic quality and the management practices of Symphony Silicon Valley over the past three years, and Hazel and I have a great deal of confidence in its future. The best way to ensure that it will continue to thrive over the long term, in good times and bad, is to build an endowment fund. We hope that this gift is only the beginning."

In a second announcement, Cartwright told the assembled guests, all members of the Symphony's Baton Society made up of lead donors, that Symphony Silicon Valley has ended the 2004-05 season with a balanced operating budget.

Cartwright commented, "The Griffins' extraordinarily generous gift is a signal to our community that Symphony Silicon Valley is coming of age. After just three performance seasons, it has become a major feature of the South Bay's cultural landscape.  The launch of an endowment fund is an important next step toward guaranteeing that this region will continue to enjoy the benefits of a first-rate symphony and the many services of its stellar musicians."

Currently Vice President of Longmeadow Development, Griffin served first on the Symphony's 15-person Advisory Board, and joined its 9-member Governing Board in April 2005. He will serve on the Symphony's Endowment Investment Committee.

Symphony President Andrew Bales noted, "We are already off to a very strong start for the new season; audience members love hearing the orchestra in the new, acoustically spectacular California Theatre, and more are returning every day.  The Griffins' outstanding leadership in seeding an endowment fund for the Symphony, added to the enthusiasm of our audiences and our growing track record of careful management, all contribute to rebuilding our community's faith in the viability of a professional symphony in this region."

Symphony Silicon Valley begins its fourth performing season on July 1st with a $1.8 million projected budget, slightly lower than 2004-05.   To date subscribers have bought 70% of the available seats for the upcoming season's 14 subscription concerts,  substantially more than the total subscription sales for the season just ending.  Information about the Symphony's 2005-06 season, opening on October 1, 2005. is available through the Ticket Office at (408) 286-2600 ext. 23, or on the Symphony's website at

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Phone or Fax: (408) 286-2600

Supported, in part, by a Cultural Affairs grant from the City of San José