Michael Pastreich - President and CEO
Michael Pastreich became the president and CEO of The Florida Orchestra (TFO) in October of 2007, and his tenure coincided with tremendous artistic growth. In June of 2011, TFO announced the nation’s only multi-year collaboration with the Music Institute of Havana, sending The Florida Orchestra Principal Wind Quintet to Cuba that September. In October of the same year, TFO partnered with the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team to record the team’s new theme music, Be The Thunder, as part of a multiyear collaboration. In January of 2012, TFO joined forces with Naxos, the world’s largest distributor of classical music, to make TFO’s first commercial recording.
Subscription sales have increased in each season during Pastreich’s tenure, and audience demand has forced the organization to grow its subscription series for four consecutive seasons. In addition to artistic growth, TFO’s finances significantly improved as the endowment increased by more than 78% to over $14 million, the board of directors increased its personal Annual Fund support by over 300%, and the organization produced surplus budgets in four of the past five seasons.
Prior to his arrival in the Tampa Bay area, Pastreich was executive director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra in Illinois from 1996 to 2007. During his tenure with 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 BFA 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 forfeited his scholarship to participate in the League of American Orchestras’ Orchestra Management Fellowship Program.
In 2005, Pastreich was named one of the Chicago Tribune Arts Section’s 25 "Chicagoans of the Year" and was honored by the Illinois Council of Orchestras as "Manager of the Year."