The Last Word: The DSO’s Kim Notelmy On a Symphony of Outreach, Education, and Unforgettable Acoustics

“It’s like a spa for your brain.”

Kim Noltemy
President and CEO
Dallas Symphony Association
.…on the benefits of hearing a musical performance at Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Center, via the Dallas Observer.

A former chief operation and communications officer for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Noltemy joined the Dallas Symphony Association in 2018. Since then she’s learned a lot about the city—and a lot about what orchestral music can do for its citizens.

“You will never hear anything in a concert hall like ours, where the acoustics are so phenomenal,” Noltemy told the Dallas Observer of the city’s Meyerson Symphony Center. “We need to sell that. In a world without music education and the innate interest in sitting for an hour or longer, you have to convince people that this is a good thing to do. It’s like a spa for your brain.”

Part of Noltemy’s five-year mission to date has been weaving the DSO into Dallasites’ daily lives.

“You get your chance to see our musicians around town, doing chamber music, doing educational activities,” she told the D.O. “You know you’re welcome if you would like to come.”

In one key outreach effort, the DSO launched its Young Musicians Program in 2019, helping children in Southern Dallas gain exposure to classical musical training and eventually perform as a full orchestra.

“The more of us [orchestras] that do these things the better our future is, because we’re creating the audiences of tomorrow, the players of tomorrow, and, in the end, the donors of tomorrow as well,” Noltemy told the D.O.

For more of who said what about all things North Texas, check out Every Last Word.

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