Orlando Philharmonic Announces Resignation of Executive Director David Schillhammer

(Orlando, FL – Nov 18, 2015) Today, the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra Board of Directors accepted the resignation of Executive Director David Schillhammer, effective February 28, 2016. Schillhammer is the orchestra’s first and only Executive Director, a position he has held for 15 years.

“I leave the organization in good standing,” said Schillhammer. “Artistically, under the helm of new Music Director Eric Jacobsen and the talented, hardworking and selfless musicians; financially, with 22 consecutive years of balanced budgets, and a capital campaign that has raised nearly $4 million since 2013 to initiate renovations to The Plaza Live, our first permanent home in the community. Over these many seasons, we have expanded our donor and patron base to an all-time high, with over 5,000 subscriptions sold last year.”

“Now that all the pieces are in place, it’s time for me to exit stage right, pursue new opportunities, and welcome in fresh, new leadership to usher in the next chapter for the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.”

Board President Michael Elsberry thanked Schillhammer for his dedication.

“David Schillhammer has been with the Orlando Philharmonic since shortly after its rebirth from the ashes of the Florida Symphony,” he said. “His leadership, through good times and not-so-good times, has been the glue that held the organization together and the inspiration that molded the orchestra into the preeminent ensemble that it is today. His standing in our arts community is unequaled, and that community will miss his passion as much as we will at the orchestra. The Board of Directors accepted his decision to resign with sadness and regret, but we knew that he reached the decision with careful deliberation, which those of us who know him recognize as part of his DNA. We wish David only the best as he takes a rest from the unrelenting stress that his position with the orchestra necessarily entails. He plans to keep himself available to us, to answer questions that can be answered only by a person who has led an organization from the front for over a decade and a half. We thank him for that, and for his undivided commitment for fifteen years.”

New Music Director Eric Jacobsen shared his gratitude.

“David Schilhammer is a hero of the Orlando Philharmonic and of music at large,” he said. “From the first day I arrived, David inspired and motivated me, and as a true leader, he kept us all thinking of the future. He infuses the Philharmonic musicians, management, board and community with passion and dedication, and that is the reason I wanted to accept the position of Music Director. We will all be working to carry on his vision and legacy with the Philharmonic.”

Schillhammer says he is seeking a new position, but will stay connected to the orchestra.

“I am looking forward to pursuing other opportunities and meaningful projects in the non-profit world,” he said. “I will always remain a loyal supporter of the Philharmonic, and I will cherish the many friendships I have made during this journey, with the musicians, hardworking staff, the many members of the boards of directors, our loyal and passionate patrons, and most importantly, the many members of the Friends of the Orlando Philharmonic.”

The Board of Directors is discussing next steps and plans to conduct a national search for Schillhammer’s successor.


Now celebrating its 23rd season, and inaugural season with Music Director Eric Jacobsen, the Orlando Philharmonic is Central Florida’s professional orchestra, comprised of accomplished musicians recruited from around the world. The Philharmonic inspires and educates residents and visitors alike with over 125 performances each year, and manages The Plaza Live on Bumby Avenue—a venue it is renovating to create a new, permanent home for the orchestra, and a variety of other live music. More information is available at orlandophil.org.