- Category: November/December 2003
Tamburri to Pittsburgh
Not so long ago, the Pittsburgh Symphony faced an apparent leadership vacuum. With the departure of Executive Director Gideon Toeplitz and the approaching final season of Music Director Mariss Jansons, published assessments of the PSO's future were uncertain at best. A persistent deficit only added to the concerns.
What a difference a few months can make. First came significant fund-raising success. Leading by example, the PSO's musicians pledged $1,000 each to the orchestra and challenged subscribers who had not donated in the past to match their gift. In August, the orchestra announced that the effort had turned 718 subscribers into first-time donors, surpassing the musicians' challenge. An additional 618 audience members took the musicians' cue and renewed or increased their gifts.
Then came a successful European tour; and in September, the appointment of a native son, Lawrence Tamburri, as the PSO's new president, managing director, and CEO. As president of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra since 1991, Tamburri oversaw a period of significant growth, culminating in the purchase of a collection of 30 prized Stradivarius and Guarnerius string instruments for the use of NJSO members.
During Tamburri's tenure, the NJSO became nationally renowned for its joint efforts among musicians, staff, and board--an inclusive atmosphere that Tamburri clearly expects to cultivate at the PSO. "I see it as a collaborative environment," he said in a statement. "Together we will work to uphold the artistic excellence that defines the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, while creating a stable sustained financial base that will allow this great orchestra to continue to please audiences in Pittsburgh and around the world." Added out-going board president Thomas Todd, "It's an excellent match and the future of the Pittsburgh Symphony looks much brighter with him taking the leadership position."