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Dr. Mary Palmer and Mark Fischer Named Acting Co-Executive Directors


(Friday, March 29, Orlando, FL) – The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra announces the appointment of Dr. Mary Palmer and Mark Fischer as the Acting Co-Executive Directors.

Dr. Palmer and Mr. Fischer will lead as Co-Executive Directors and will replace former Executive Director Christopher T. Barton who has resigned his position with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

Dr. Mary Palmer is the current President of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Directors and is a well-known award-winning Music Educator, Author, Philanthropist, and Community Leader throughout the Central Florida community.

Mark Fischer is a founding musician of the orchestra and a 26-year member of the staff leadership, with positions including General Manager and Director of Artistic Operations where he leads the production and artistic endeavors of the Philharmonic.

“I am stepping down from my role with the Orlando Philharmonic with a heart full of pride and gratitude,” said Christopher T. Barton. “It has been my great privilege to work with Eric Jacobsen and the incredible musicians, an amazing administrative staff, and the Board and Friends of the Philharmonic to share live music in our Central Florida community. I am certain that the OPO is positioned for continued growth in the years ahead and I’ll be applauding its every success.”

Mr. Barton joined the Philharmonic as Executive Director in August of 2016 and has led the Philharmonic through a successful 25th Anniversary Season including a performance with world- renowned Cellist Yo-Yo Ma, continued financial success, and strong growth in community engagement and support. The Philharmonic thanks Mr. Barton for his tireless service to the organization and wishes him and his family the very best.


“We have been fortunate to have had Christopher Barton at the helm of the Philharmonic during the past two and a half years. Mr. Barton has laid the groundwork for great things ahead as we continue bringing live music to all Central Floridians. We wish him well in his new endeavors,” said Dr. Mary Palmer.

“It has been both a joy and a great honor to work with Mr. Barton. He is someone who has such a deep commitment to music, the community, and has steered the Orlando Philharmonic through some incredibly important times including setting the organization up for a successful transition into Steinmetz Hall. His leadership, professionalism, and dedication have left a lasting legacy here in Orlando,” said Music Director Eric Jacobsen.

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra serves as Central Florida’s only professional orchestra and is positioned for a trajectory of tremendous growth, under the direction of Music Director Eric Jacobsen. The Philharmonic recently announced the 2019-2020 Season, its final at the Bob Carr Theater, and is eagerly anticipating performing in Steinmetz Hall at Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in the Fall of 2020.

The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is committed to maintaining the highest artistic standards and fiscal stewardship. The Board of Directors, Staff, Musicians, and Volunteers will continue to focus on creating growth and innovation through music and engaging our Central Florida community with the versatile and artistic excellence of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.

A search committee is in formation and committed to hiring the next full-time Executive Director.

The mission of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is to enrich and inspire the diverse communities of Central Florida through the transformative power of live music.


 Celebrating its 26th Season, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra is led by Music Director Eric Jacobsen and comprised of accomplished musicians from around the world. The Philharmonic annually presents the FAIRWINDS Classics and Pops Series at Bob Carr Theater and its Focus Chamber Series at The Plaza Live. The mission of the Philharmonic is to enrich and inspire the diverse communities of Central Florida through the transformative power of live music, and it presents more than 170 live concerts and impacts more than 70,000 children, youth and families annually through its Young People’s Concerts, Symphony Storytime Series, Notes in Your Neighborhood program, and free outdoor community concerts. A resident company of the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, the Philharmonic will perform in Steinmetz Hall when it opens in 2020. Learn more at orlandophil.org.



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