The Florida Orchestra

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The Florida Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Florida, USA. It was founded as the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony, when the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and the Tampa Philharmonic agreed to merge in 1968. The orchestra changed its name to The Florida Orchestra in 1984. It gives concerts in Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg.

The first music director of the orchestra was Irwin Hoffman, from 1968 to 1987. The most recent music director was Stefan Sanderling, who held the post from 2003 to 2012. His contract had most recently been intended to run through the 2013–2014 season, at which point he was scheduled to conclude his tenure.[1] There were reports of conflict between Sanderling and the orchestra management as factors in his departure.[2] However, in June 2012, the orchestra announced the early conclusion of Sanderling's Florida Orchestra tenure after the 2011–2012 season, at which time he took the titles of "conductor emeritus" and "artistic adviser to the orchestra."[3]

In 2003, the orchestra musicians ratified a contract that cut their pay by 16%, after the prior season had reported a fiscal deficit. There was also a plan to increase the endowment of the orchestra from $8 million to $25 million.[4] However, the planned announcement of the campaign did not occur, by early 2004.[5] Seven musicians from the orchestra left as a result.[6] In November 2006, the orchestra reported a deficit of $676,615 for the 2006 fiscal year.[7] The orchestra signed its most recent contract in June 2012, with a base salary of $29,034 (for 25 weeks of work) that is scheduled to increase to $32,000 for 2712 weeks in the 2014–2015 season.[8]

The orchestra named Stuart Malina as its principal guest conductor in June 2012, effective with the 2012–2013 season. He continues to hold the title also of "coffee conductor".[9] In past years, the orchestra has had as its 'principal pops conductor' Skitch Henderson (1987–2000) and Richard Kaufman (2004–2009). In June 2012, the orchestra named Jeff Tyzik its new principal pops conductor, effective with the 2012–2013 season, with an initial contract of three years.[10]

Music Directors[edit]


  1. ^ John Fleming (2011-05-27). "Stefan Sanderling won't be renewing his contract with the Florida Orchestra". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  2. ^ John Fleming (2011-11-06). "A farewell tour". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  3. ^ John Fleming (2012-07-02). "Florida Orchestra's Stefan Sanderling stepping down early as music director". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  4. ^ John Fleming (2003-09-25). "A whole New World". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  5. ^ John Fleming (2004-03-16). "Finances take toll on orchestra". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  6. ^ John Fleming (2004-08-21). "Florida Orchestra loses a septet following pay cuts". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  7. ^ John Fleming (2006-11-01). "Storms a stressor on orchestra finances". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2007-01-11. 
  8. ^ John Fleming (2012-07-01). "Musicians trumpet positive, if modest, Florida Orchestra agreement". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  9. ^ John Fleming (2012-06-22). "Florida Orchestra taps Stuart Malina as principal guest conductor". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 
  10. ^ John Fleming (2012-06-08). "Florida Orchestra names Jeff Tyzik pops conductor". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 2012-07-15. 

External links[edit]