State and city grants to support improved acoustics at Florida Orchestra venue

Posted on: January 12, 2016

“From a visual standpoint, the Mahaffey Theater is a palace for staging musical performances, Florida Orchestra President Michael Pastreich says,” writes Steven Girardi in Tuesday’s (1/12) Tampa Tribune (Florida). “ ‘I think the goal is acoustically for it to become the musical palace as well,’ he said. The theater now is moving closer to that goal with a $1 million state grant to purchase an orchestra shell that will improve the experience for the audience, as well as for orchestra members.… The St. Petersburg City Council accepted the state cultural facilities grant on Thursday, the first step toward financing the project. The city will add another $850,000 toward construction, expected in 2017.… The Florida Orchestra performs about 100 concerts a year, many divided among the Mahaffey, the Straz Center in Tampa and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. The $1.8 million project is the first of three phases that will total about $4.3 million. Efforts are under way to raise the other $2.5 million, Pastreich said. The current orchestra shell was purchased in 1985 when the Mahaffey was turned into a concert hall, he said, simply making it a workable space. ‘This time around, we’re talking about turning it into a great space,’ he said.”

Posted January 12, 2016