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DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Betty Meissner

San Francisco Symphony subscribers and donors since 1998, Betty Meissner and her late husband attended concerts for decades, enjoying the classical repertoire. In recent years, the Meissners have also enjoyed the innovative programming, most recently at Soundbox. “I’m grateful that MTT and the San Francisco Symphony brought us cutting-edge pieces that were not well-known or were newly discovered—and that they introduced us to new composers and modes of presenting music,” says Betty. “I’m delighted that Esa-Pekka Salonen carries on that culture.”

As a retired teacher, Betty also values the opportunities that educational programs like the SF Symphony Youth Orchestra (SFSYO), Music and Mentors, and Adventures in Music provide to young people. “I’m happy and proud that in addition to the extraordinary experience that the Symphony gives youngsters in the YO, it also partners with public schools to provide teacher training, curriculum, and materials, and invites students in grades 1–5 to attend a Symphony performance.  I deeply appreciate this extraordinary outreach to bring music to children.”

Betty knows first-hand the power of music education to shape a child’s life. Her daughter Melina was first harpist in the SFSYO for six years, and fondly remembers Saturday coaching sessions with principal harpist Doug Rioth, rehearsals and performances in Davies, and two European tours. In 1998 and 2001, Betty and Ernst followed Melina and the SFSYO on tour and were thrilled to see the YO perform in world-class venues such as Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Prague’s Dvořák Hall.

To help ensure the future of these education programs, the Meissners established a trust designating the San Francisco Symphony as a beneficiary. Betty also directs an annual charitable rollover from her IRA. She belongs to the San Francisco Symphony’s Pierre Monteux Society, whose members help to sustain the San Francisco Symphony through their estate plans.

To learn more about making a planned gift to the San Francisco Symphony, please contact Megan Guzman, Director, Planned Giving, at mguzman@sfsymphony.org or 415.503.5404.

Betty Meissner and her daughter Melina at Davies Symphony Hall
Music for everyone
We are dedicated to fostering the growth of young artists, bringing music education to public schools and providing a cultural connection with San Francisco and the Bay Area.
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