MICHAEL PASTREICH, PRESIDENT AND CEO
Michael Pastreich became the president & CEO of The Florida Orchestra (TFO) in October of 2007. During his tenure TFO built one of the industry’s strongest artistic teams, with Music Director Michael Francis, GRAMMY Award® winning Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik, and Tony Award® winning Principal Guest Conductor Stuart Malina. Audience demand has forced the organization to grow its subscription series for seven consecutive seasons, as the organization experiments with a wide variety of successful concert formats. In recent years, TFO announced the nation’s only multi-year collaboration with Cuba’s Music Institute of Havana, partnered with the Tampa Bay Lightning hockey team to record new theme music Be The Thunder, joined forces with Naxos, the world’s largest independent distributor of classical music, to make TFO’s first commercial recording, and became one of the nation’s most vibrant orchestras.
In addition to artistic growth, TFO’s finances significantly improved as subscription sales increased in each season of his tenure, total paid attendance increased by 34%, total households served increased by 67%, the organization raised over $49 million, the endowment increased by almost 80% to nearly $18 million and the Board of Directors increased its personal Annual Fund support from $125,000 to over $1 million.
Prior to his arrival to Tampa Bay, Pastreich was executive director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) 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 Arts Section’s 25 “Chicagoans of the Year” and was honored by the Illinois Council of Orchestras as Manager of the Year. In 2014, he was featured by Musical America as one of 30 international arts leaders in their “Profiles in Courage.”