A special National Symphony "task force" yesterday released a 67-page report they have submitted to the orchestra's board of directors. After a detailed analysis of the orchestra's artistic qualify, financial condition and services to the greater Washington community, the report recommends that:
The size of the orchestra be increased from 96 to 106 players; . Federal government support for the orchestra be increased from $460,000 to approximately $1.3 million;
Concerts be given at Howard University to increase the interest of the black community, and at other universities where there are suitable halls.
Performance income be increased from $2.3 million to $4 million. A part of the increases should come from ticket sales, but the level of any increase in ticket prices should be tied to percentage rises in the cost-of-living.
The report drawn up by a 19-member committee, also recommends that the music director spend as much time as possible working with the orchestra members; that only the best possible guest conductors be engaged, and for more than a single week at a time: and that financial assistance be made available to players to help them acquire high-qualify instruments.
The committee calls for emphasis on touring, recording, and television activities. A tour of Western Europe for 1979 has been announced, with concerts to be played in London, Paris, Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Munich, Brussels, and Amsterdam, among other cities.
According to the report, the large increase in federal support is justified because in Washington, the government "is at once government and the city's largest employer."
Several suggestions have already been acted upon. It was announced on Tuesday that the orchestra will move its summer programs from the Kennedy Center to Wolf Trap Farm Park - a recommendation of the task force.
A copy of the entire report, translated into Russian, has been given to music director Mstislav Rostropovich, who already has said that he will spend 17 weeks with the orchestra this season, though his contracts calls for only 11, and that he will be here for 19 weeks next season.
The report strongly suggests changing one of the present midweek concert nights to a weekend night either Friday or Saturday.
In its analysis of the orchestra's financial picture, the committee pointed out that while Washington gives its orchestra more support than any other city except Chicago, Cleveland, St. Louis and Detroit, the orchestra's endowment fund is the smallest of any major orchestra's. Therefore, the report urges the enlarging of the endowment fund from its present $5 million to an intermediate figure of $11 million, later to be increased to $15 million.
The generally poor record of the orchestra in summer concerts is discussed candidly, and the report suggests ways of improving these in quality, repertoire, and choice of sites as well as greater use of minority soloists, conductors, and narrators. Both the Elips and the Carter Barron Amphitheater are mentioned as locations where festivals of music by black American composers might be appropriate.
It is also suggested tha the elderly and disadvantaged of the city would be served by "devising reliable and inexpensive means of transporting senior citizens to the Kennedy Center and Wolf Trap, or to the concerts in the park."
Of the 19 members of the task force as the committee described itself, 16 are board members and two are players in the orchestra. The managing director Oleg Lobanov, was also included.The group met on a weekly basis for four months at the request of the board president, David Lloyd Kreeger. The report emphasizes the need for the highest artistic qualify and financial stability - which it says "the National Symphony has never had. The report states the task force concluded that the "goals of musical quality and financial viability were interdependent."