We examined the relationship between funding sources and programming for major US symphony orchestras for the 2001 through 2007 seasons. We find that increased levels of funding from the federal government and businesses encourage more nonconventional programming, and increased levels of funding from local government and endowments encourage more conventional programming. In addition, yearly events such as a composer's anniversary and higher unemployment influence programming decisions. Given the challenging financial environment for symphony orchestras, we discussed programming choices that managers could implement to reduce budget deficits. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.