Peter Pastreich Named Interim Executive Director at American Conservatory Theater

Peter Pastreich Named Interim Executive Director at American Conservatory Theater

American Conservatory Theater Board of Trustees-led by Chair Nancy Livingston-announced today the appointment of Peter Pastreich as interim executive director of American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.).

With more than 50 years' experience in arts management and consulting, including 21 years as executive director of the San Francisco Symphony, Pastreich will oversee every aspect of A.C.T.'s administration, working closely with A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff and the Board of Trustees, as the company prepares to launch its 50th anniversary season. Pastreich's tenure-beginning Monday, August 15-is expected to last a minimum of six months. The Board of Trustees will continue its search for a permanent executive director, supported in part by a generous grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Says Livingston: "The Board of Trustees is extremely fortunate to have Peter's wisdom and expertise during our search for a permanent executive director. His accomplishments, distinguished reputation, and deep understanding of the arts community will propel us into our 50th anniversary season."

Adds Pastreich: "I am honored that American Conservatory Theater has entrusted me with the responsibility of being their interim executive director, and very much look forward to working with Carey Perloff and A.C.T.'s effective and committed Board of Trustees and staff."

"I personally have known Peter since I arrived in San Francisco over twenty years ago, and have always been inspired by his leadership, his kindness, his immense wisdom about artists and arts management," says Perloff. "It is thus with enormous pleasure and gratitude that we join forces with him at this moment in A.C.T.'s history, to help us celebrate our 50th anniversary year, to guide us forward in all our aspirations, and ultimately to help us complete a successful hire of a permanent Executive Director."

Peter Pastreich has spent more than fifty years managing and consulting to symphony orchestras, and teaching symphony orchestra management. He left the San Francisco Symphony in 1999, having served as its executive director for 21 years, a period that included the tenures of music directors Edo De Waart, Herbert Blomstedt, and Michael Tilson Thomas, and during which the Orchestra more than sextupled its budget (from under $6,000,000 to over $40,000,000) and its income from ticket sales. Its endowment increased during that period from $12 million to $120 million, and the orchestra was unique among major American orchestras in operating for 16 consecutive years (and 18 of Pastreich's 21 years) without a deficit.

Pastreich was the chief administrator responsible for the construction of Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco, and for its acoustical renovation. During his tenure, the San Francisco Symphony founded the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra; syndicated its radio broadcasts on over 450 stations across the country and in Great Britain and Sweden; and began annual, national, and international touring, including its first American tour in 30 years, its first Asian tour since 1975, its first tour to Europe in 14 years, and its first tour of European Festivals (including those of Salzburg, Edinburgh, Luzern, and Berlin), in 1990. Over his career he managed more than 50 concert tours of the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Before coming to San Francisco he served for 12 years as executive director of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, where he worked with conductors Eleazar de Carvalho, Walter Susskind, Jerzy Semkow, and Leonard Slatkin, and as Managing Director of the Mississippi River Festival for six years. During his St. Louis tenure, the orchestra purchased the St. Louis Theater and converted it to Powell Symphony Hall, established its first endowment fund and pension fund, founded the Saint Louis Symphony Chorus and the Saint Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra, and substantially increased its touring and recording activity.

In addition, Pastreich has done management consulting in Europe, for the Berlin Philharmonic and the South Bank Centre in London; in the United States, for the Detroit Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Santa Barbara Symphony; and in Australia for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. He has also served as mediator in orchestra and opera union negotiations in Detroit, Louisville, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Sacramento, Seattle, and San Antonio.

In 2009, Pastreich returned to full time orchestra management, serving as executive director of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, America's leading period instrument ensemble, until December 2012. During those three years the orchestra formed its own recording company; began the first regular radio broadcast series by a period instrument orchestra; toured the major American summer music festivals; and increased concert attendance, earned and contributed income, and its endowment.

Pastreich served as Vice Chairman of the League of American Orchestras, and as the first Chairman of the League's Task Force on Management Training, a program designed to recruit and train future orchestra managers. He was a member of the Jury for the Bamberg Symphony Mahler Conducting Competition in 2004, when Gustavo Dudamel was awarded first prize. He was a founding board member of the Laumeier Sculpture Park in St. Louis and a member of the Yale University Council's Committee on Music, was a board member of the Stern Grove Festival and a member of the Seaver/NEA Conductors' Award Executive Council, and served on the Board of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Born in Brooklyn, New York in 1938, Pastreich received a B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Yale University in 1959, majoring in English Literature, and spending one year studying French literature at the Sorbonne in Paris. He studied the trumpet with RoBert Nagle at Yale and Raymond Sabarich in Paris, and played in orchestras and bands until 1970. He began his management career as a student by organizing and managing the Yale University Band's European Tour of 1959, the first such tour ever made by an American college band. In May 2006 he received an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. In 1999 Peter Pastreich was made a Chevalier des arts et des lettres by the French government, was named an Honorary Member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees by Local 16 of the Stagehands Union, and received the League of American Orchestra's Gold Baton Award.

Pastreich is married to Jamie Garrard Whittington, former Director of Development for the Exploratorium in San Francisco. He has two sons: Emanuel (Professor of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean at Kyung Hee University in Seoul and Director of the Asia Institute) and Michael (President and CEO of the Florida Orchestra), two daughters: Anna Schlegel (Development Manager of 10,000 Degrees in San Rafael, CA) and Milena (a director and cinematographer, recently graduated from the UCLA Film School), and a stepson, Adam Gasner (practicing criminal defense law in San Francisco). Peter Pastreich Named Interim Executive Director at American Conservatory Theater

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