23. May 2009 · 3 comments · Categories: Links, News, Ramble

Not surprisingly:

The Florida Orchestra has laid off three staff members and instituted pay cuts for next season. “We didn’t really get hit by the recession until January,’’ said president Michael Pastreich, adding that the orchestra has had a drop-off in single-ticket sales and donations in the troubled economy.

The layoffs, which Pastreich said yielded savings of about $250,000, included the comptroller, a database manager and a ticket center coordinator, leaving a full-time staff of about 20. The pay cuts start with the president, whose $175,000 salary will be reduced by 10 percent on July 1. Staffers making $75,000 or more will have their salaries cut 7.5 percent; those making $50,000 and more, 5 percent; and those making under $50,000 will have their pay frozen.


I wonder what the cost of living is like in St. Petersburg these days.

I do hurt for those people who were let go. I suppose it’s even worse to see the organization fold all together. When San Jose Symphony died it was devastating. It obviously hit a very large number of people. It wasn’t just the musicians and office. Stage hands, ushers, program printers … it hits a ton of people. I think it hurt the musicians the most, of course, because it was such a personal thing for us. Music is, in some ways, a part of who we are. Even now, I can get emotional thinking about what was lost.

The president of the Florida Orchestra, Michael Pastreich, was with San Jose Symphony (RIP) at some point, although he wasn’t there at the end. (I’m guessing he was smart enough to know he’d better get the heck out!) I can’t even remember his position at this point, but I’m sure a reader could remind me! I can’t remember … is Peter Pastreich Michael’s father? I’m sure a reader friend ‘o mine will fill me in on that, too! (DK? You there?)

Speaking of Peter Pastreich, there is a bit ‘o conversation going on about his new appointment. Lisa Hirsch blogs here and, very briefly, here about it, and Joshua Kosman responds to what she wrote.

I, wimp that I am, remain quiet on anything controversial. I am, in fact, holding back on something that recently really irked me. I just can’t go there. I would rather just seethe for a while.

I do wish seething helped in weight loss, though. 😉


  1. Pingback: oboeinsight » Blog Archive » San Diego: Oboe/English horn

  2. Yes, Michael is Peter’s son. He left SJ for a position as executive director of the Elgin IL symphony (quite a step up from concert manager of SJ).

  3. patti with an i

    one of the michael p moments i remember best from sjs was one of the halloween pops shows. can’t remember who was conducting–it was either leo eylar or leif bjaland–but in any case the conductor was wheeled onstage on a “gurney” under a sheet by michael and someone else, dressed in lab coats and doing the mad scientist schtick, prodding the body with electrical things while we played “in the hall of the mountain king” and eventually bringing the conductor to “life” at the end of the piece. michael was totally into it and the expression on his face was priceless.

  4. Oh rats … that must have been a year I missed, because I sure don’t remember that, Patti. Too bad no one filmed it, eh?