BSO Receives $1 Million in Bequests from Loyal Friends
Over the past year, the BSO has learned of two generous unrestricted bequests totaling $1M from long-time, devoted friends of the Symphony. The first, from Sergiu and Robinne Comissiona is estimated at $500,000, or 1/6 of their estate, and is directed in support of the BSO's unrestricted endowment. Sergiu Comissiona, who died in 2005, served as music director of the Orchestra from 1969 to 1984, achieving a reputation as an orchestra builder. Steven Wigler, a critic for the Baltimore Sun, wrote that "the modern Baltimore Symphony was created by Sergiu Comissiona." Robinne Comissiona, who died in May, 2014, was very active in the ballet community during the couple's time in Baltimore, co-founding with Elspeth Udvarhelyi Pointe-on-Strings which later merged with the Maryland Ballet Company.
Upon hearing the news of their generous bequest, BSO President and CEO Paul Meecham noted "We are deeply honored that Sergiu and Robinne have remembered the BSO so generously in their estate plans, funds we will steward as part of the Symphony's permanent Endowment Trust, providing income for BSO priority initiatives in perpetuity."
A second bequest of $500,000 from Martha and Albert Walker, both deceased, also came as a surprise. Albert Walker served on the Board of Directors in the early 1990s, and was encouraged by fellow Board members to include the BSO in his estate plans at the time of the founding of the Legato Circle. The bequest includes the sale of their Baltimore home, and is being added to the Baltimore Symphony Endowment Trust with the income directed for unrestricted support of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.