Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Welcomes Full Audience, Renovated Venue

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) played to a full audience for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday evening, October 1st.

It was also the orchestra’s first appearance at the renovated Bradley Symphony Center. A new space called The Pavilion was also opened to the public for the first time.

There are a few requirements to watch a show: a negative COVID-19 test or proof of vaccination is required. For music lovers, it felt good to be back.

“We have been waiting for this day for a long time,” says Mark Niehaus from MSO. “This is the first time we’ve had an audience with tickets with no capacity constraints, like we had all of last season.”

Niehaus said MSO expects nearly 1,500 for the first full capacity performance. It was the first show at the Bradley Symphony Center – the former historic Grand Warner Theater – since the building closed in 1995.

“Everyone has the same experience when they walk in where their jaws basically drop because they can’t believe Milwaukee has such a beautiful theater,” said Niehaus. “And it sounds as good as it looks.”

Some details of the renovated space date from the 1930s, including the wall of the historic theater that was moved during the renovation. Other areas are brand new, such as the pavilion and the stage.

“You can finally play for the audience again after the pandemic, in this brand new, beautiful space that was specially designed for you,” said Niehaus.

The orchestra plays all weekend. The next show is Saturday, October 2nd at 7:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased on the MSO website.

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