David Schillhammer, executive director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, announced Wednesday he is stepping down.
David Schillhammer, executive director of the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, announced Wednesday he is stepping down. (Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra)
David Schillhammer, the Orlando Philharmonic's first and only executive director and one of the region's longtime arts leaders, will step down in February, he confirmed Wednesday.
"Success is knowing when to go, when to pass off to someone else," he
"It's time for me to exit stage right, pursue new opportunities and welcome in fresh, new leadership."
With a tenure of 15 years, Schillhammer is the longest-serving executive director among Orlando's major arts organizations.
, 50, said he
resignation careful consideration.
"This is my decision and my decision alone," he
"I have been contemplating this for some time."
Although the board accepted his resignation with "sadness and regret," Elsberry said, "we wish David
only the best as he takes a rest from the unrelenting stress that his position with the orchestra necessarily entails."
has taken this orchestra from a little startup to a real driving organization, a pillar in this community.
A native of Burlington, Vt., Schillhammer
career as a bassoonist, a skill that helped him in his
Schillhammer graduated from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., before working for the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra in Minnesota and as executive director of the San Antonio Symphony and San Pedro Playhouse, both in Texas.
"Even in the most challenging times, David had the courage to always speak up when he didn't think things were going the right way," said Gene Columbus, executive director of Orlando Repertory Theatre.
Fiercely devoted to the Philharmonic - "You could say anything you wanted about David
, but don't mess with his organization," Columbus said - he is equally supportive of the entire local cultural scene.