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Charlotte Symphony excavates its past, and has big plans for 90th anniversary

Mar 9, 2022

By Liz Rothaus Bertrand, The Charlotte Observer -- 

Ninety years ago this month, a group of musicians gathered to perform a free, two-hour public concert at the newly built Carolina Theatre on Tryon Street. But with a $60 budget for the entire season, ($1,205 in today's dollars) they couldn't afford a copyist to prepare the sheet music. So conductor Guillermo S. de Roxlo -- a newly arrived immigrant who had fled the Spanish Civil War by way of Cuba -- hand-copied orchestra parts for all 57 of the musicians. From this humble beginning, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra was born. It's now one of the city's major arts institutions and the longest continuously running orchestra in North Carolina.

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