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Ciminelli’s substantial gift to the BPO will help secure orchestra’s future

It’s music to the ears – a beautiful symphony of synchronicity. The chairman of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s board of directors has made a gift of $1 million to the institution he loves.

It was a sort of reverse birthday present: On his 60th birthday, Louis P. Ciminelli opened his wallet and pulled out a million of his own dollars as a gift to the orchestra. It was an extraordinarily generous donation that will push the orchestra closer to its fundraising goal of $30 million. More than that, his gift is a demonstration of the kind of passion that has brought financial stability to the BPO.

It wasn’t always the case, as anyone who has followed the orchestra’s fortunes understands. It has come close to failing and, had it done so, a hole would have been torn in the fabric of this community. With his gift, Ciminelli is helping to ensure that the orchestra can remain financially secure for decades to come.

In that regard, it is heartening to note that Ciminelli made his gift in honor of the BPO’s executive director, Daniel Hart. “Sound fiscal management is critical to the BPO,” Ciminelli said in a statement, “and I know that with Dan in charge, the organization will be stable for many generations to come, for which I am forever grateful.”

The gift was announced last week at the orchestra’s season-opening gala concert. With it, Ciminelli and the BPO launched a fundraising effort called the Crescendo Campaign with its $30 million goal.

The campaign’s aim is to secure the orchestra’s financial future (in part by reaching out to the youth of Western New York), to fund operational needs and to secure new commitments. Encouragingly, a silent phase of the campaign has already brought in $17 million. Another big gift is pending; the Tower Family Fund has promised to give $1 million if the orchestra secures another $1 million in donations.

This community seems to overflow with generous people who support its critical social and economic infrastructure. With his gift, Ciminelli has shown again that he is among those citizens who go far beyond the extra mile in their devotion to Buffalo.