Obituary: Joseph Scafidi, longtime San Francisco Symphony head, 94

Posted on: August 20, 2015

“Joseph Scafidi, whose nearly 40-year span with the San Francisco Symphony saw him rise from a volunteer usher and office assistant to lead the orchestras as executive director, died Monday at his home in Sonoma,” reports Joshua Kosman in Wednesday’s (8/19) San Francisco Chronicle. “A native San Franciscan with roots deep in the community, Mr. Scafidi was noted for the easygoing amiability with which he guided the orchestra through many of the most noteworthy chapters in its history. Over the course of his long career, the Symphony’s activities grew from an 18-week season to its current year-round schedule, and the annual budget grew from $200,000 to more than $4 million. Mr. Scafidi worked closely with no fewer than five music directors.… He began ushering at the War Memorial Opera House—at that time the home for both the Symphony and Opera—in 1939, and went to work for the two organizations jointly as a student.… His duties over the years … included stints with accounting, box office, artistic planning, and production. In 1954, Mr. Scafidi became the orchestra’s assistant manager, and a decade later he was appointed general manager, a post that was renamed executive director in 1974. He retired in 1978.”

Posted August 20, 2015