Michael Pastreich - President and CEO
Michael Pastreich became the president and CEO of The Florida Orchestra (TFO) in October of 2007. During his tenure, TFO recruited Grammy Award-winning Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik and Tony Award-winning Principal Guest Conductor Stuart Malina, the organization grew its subscription series for five consecutive seasons, and the orchestra incorporated a wide variety of innovative and successful concert formats. In recent seasons, TFO launched a variety of initiatives that have contributed to it becoming one of the nation's most vibrant orchestras: a multi-year cultural exchange with Cuba, a partnership with the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team to record its new theme music Be The Thunder, and a recording contract with Naxos to make TFO's first commercial recording.
In addition to artistic growth, The Florida Orchestra's finances have significantly improved; subscription sales increased in each season of his tenure, total paid attendance increased by 27%, the organization raised over $33 million, the usable endowment increased by more than 91% to almost $16 million, and the board of directors increased its personal annual fund support by over 300%.
Prior to his arrival in the Tampa Bay area, Pastreich was executive director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) in Illinois from 1996 to 2007. While at the ESO, he worked with the community, board of directors and musicians to build it into Illinois' second largest orchestra and the state's premier regional orchestra. Over that period, the orchestra was recognized for its tremendous artistic growth as well as for being one of the fastest growing orchestras in the nation, with attendance to its Classics and Pops series almost tripling.
Pastreich earned his bachelor's in fine arts in silversmithing from Washington University, where he studied under Heikki Seppä and was a Millican Scholar. Upon graduation, he received a Fulbright Scholarship for his graduate studies in Finland. He later relinquished his scholarship to participate in the League of American Orchestras' Orchestra Management Fellowship Program.
In 2005, Pastreich was named one of the "25 Chicagoans of the Year" in the Chicago Tribune Arts Section and was honored by the Illinois Council of Orchestras as "Manager of the Year."