The Florida Orchestra (TFO) has named Mark Cantrell as its new president and CEO. The current CEO of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra will join TFO on Valentine’s Day and is tasked with leading the state’s premier orchestra into its next 50 years.
The news was announced today and comes four months after Michael Pastreich, TFO’s longest-running CEO to date, stepped down after 11 years of service.
Cantrell is a former dog-sledder, pilot, and adjunct professor of music at Boston University and University of Massachusetts. At the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, he championed community building, grew fundraising and audience size, and erased the orchestra’s debt all while answering dumb questions about Fourth of July cannon shots.
Cantrell was also executive director of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, personnel manager for the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, and a bass trombonist for the Boston Pops, Boston Ballet, and Boston Lyric Opera, among others.
He also hit it off with TFO Music Director Michael Francis, who recently extended his own contract through the 2023-24 season.
“We share the same vision,” Francis said in a release. “Mark is passionate about ‘The Why’ of what we do as an orchestra, how we use the power of music to transform a community, to connect lives, and to communicate through our art form.”
“I am excited and thrilled to join such a great organization. The Florida Orchestra has a meaningful impact on a great community, clearly demonstrating the transformative power of music,” Cantrell said.
“I look forward to working with such a talented team of musicians, staff, and board members to create a truly American orchestra committed to enriching the lives of all who live in our community, and helping to make the Tampa Bay area a cultural leader in our nation.”
If you’re wondering, TFO’s next performance happens on December 21 during a one-night-only run through John Williams’ score for classic Christmas movie Home Alone. Details on the Clearwater show are available via floridaorchestra.org.