The Florida Orchestra

 The Florida Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Florida, USA. It was founded as the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony, when the St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra and the Tampa Philharmonic agreed to merge in 1968. The orchestra changed its name to The Florida Orchestra in 1984. It gives concerts in Tampa, Clearwater, and St. Petersburg.

The first music director of the orchestra was Irwin Hoffman, from 1968 to 1987. The most recent music director was Stefan Sanderling, who held the post from 2003 to 2012. His contract had most recently been intended to run through the 2013–2014 season, at which point he was scheduled to conclude his tenure. There were reports of conflict between Sanderling and the orchestra management as factors in his departure. However, in June 2012, the orchestra announced the early conclusion of Sanderling's Florida Orchestra tenure after the 2011–2012 season, at which time he took the titles of "conductor emeritus" and "artistic adviser to the orchestra."

In 2003, the orchestra musicians ratified a contract that cut their pay by 16%, after the prior season had reported a fiscal deficit. There was also a plan to increase the endowment of the orchestra from $8 million to $25 million. However, the planned announcement of the campaign did not occur, by early 2004. Seven musicians from the orchestra left as a result. In November 2006, the orchestra reported a deficit of $676,615 for the 2006 fiscal year. The orchestra signed its most recent contract in June 2012, with a base salary of $29,034 that is scheduled to increase to $32,000 for 27¹⁄2 weeks in the 2014–2015 season.

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