scorecardresearch Skip to main content

BSO’s economic impact on Massachusetts grows

Daniel Lozakovich performed with Andris Nelsons and the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood in July 2017.Hilary Scott

The Boston Symphony Orchestra has an economic impact of more than $261 million on the state’s economy, according to a recent third-party analysis commissioned by the symphony.

That figure, provided by the study’s author, Williams College economics professor Stephen Sheppard, represents a 40 percent increase — or $74 million, adjusted for inflation — since 2008, when he was a lead researcher on a similar study for the BSO.

“Our models suggest that, directly or indirectly, nearly 2,400 jobs in Massachusetts exist because of BSO operations and the visitors attracted by BSO programming,” Sheppard said in a prepared statement. “These jobs are in hundreds of different economic sectors — obviously in the performing arts but also in such diverse sectors as building services, retail and wholesale trade, insurance, health care, and data processing.”


Sheppard added that several factors led to the BSO’s increased economic impact, among them the BSO’s larger operating budget, increased visitor spending, and greater attendance at Tanglewood, where visitor figures have increased by 11 percent.

Sheppard’s analysis also looked specifically at the BSO’s economic impact on Suffolk and Berkshire counties, its two main areas of operation. He found the symphony had an impact of $103 million in Berkshire County and $148 million in Suffolk County, where the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular events generated an estimated $23.1 million increase in economic activity.

Managing director Mark Volpe said the latest study represents a decade of growth at the BSO.

“It is wonderful to have quantifiable verification of the degree to which the BSO makes a significant contribution to the Massachusetts state economy,” he said in a prepared statement. “This news is sure to serve as an added inspiration for all of us to continue our work to share our music-making with an ever-growing and wide-ranging audience.”

Malcolm Gay can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @malcolmgay.