Panama Symphony Orchestra conductor David Ott retires

PANAMA CITY — Panama City Symphony conductor and music director David Ott will retire at the end of the 2021-2022 season, the PCSO board recently announced.

He will conduct his last concert, “Schéhérazade”, on April 23.

Ott has served as Conductor and Music Director of the PCSO since 2016. He is also Director of Music Ministries and Organist at Christ the King Church in Santa Rosa Beach, positions that will be affected by his retirement from the PCSO.

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A gifted speaker and passionate about educating the public about music, Ott has been recognized for making symphonic music more accessible to audiences of all ages throughout the region, according to board members. During his tenure with the orchestra, he raised the profile of the orchestra throughout the region, attracting musicians with master’s and doctorate degrees in performance.

Ott was also the creator and driving force behind three unique educational programs: Moments with the Maestro, Music to My Ears and Symphony in the City.

Following the destruction of the Marina Civic Center by Hurricane Michael in 2018, Ott’s commitment to the community was that the orchestra would be “a beacon of promise to a community ravaged by fate, and then to bind us together and our work to make Panama City a cultural city that is among the best in America.” The orchestra kicked off its season 68 days later from its current home on the stage at the Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Centre.

Facing the prospect of another significant challenge in March 2020, Ott reminded viewers of the health benefits of listening to classical music. His comments gave rise to the orchestra’s “Reduce Stress. Turn Up the Music” public service campaign, which aired on television and in newspapers during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ott and the board planned and scheduled a new season, and in October 2020 began its 25th season under the new moniker, Panama City Symphony Orchestra.

The Panama Symphony Orchestra's conductor and music director, David Ott, will retire at the end of the 2021-2022 season.

The name change reflects the realization that the orchestra’s performance quality and professional stature are soaring, deserving of a name to manifest its quality and expanding geographic appeal, the board members said. ‘administration. Moreover, it signified the strong determination of the board to continue to increase the appeal of the orchestra and its already considerable contributions to the community, led by Ott.

A search committee for Ott’s successor, made up of members of the board of trustees of the symphony and its orchestra, began the exploration.

“We are committed to hiring a talented and visionary leader who will enhance and expand the Panama Symphony Orchestra’s mission to provide excellent live symphonic music that engages and educates audiences of all ages,” the band said in its statement. Press.

“This individual will possess excellent musical and conducting skills, demonstrate an ability to engage audiences with classical and popular genres, be innovative in communications and education, and contribute to the organization’s long-term strategic plan. The opportunity for continued growth is exciting, and we look forward to building on the foundation that David Ott has cemented over the past six years.”

The last concert date for the 2021-2022 season is at 7:30 p.m. on April 23 at the Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center. The orchestral masterpiece, “Scheherazade” will highlight the program.

PCSO tickets are available at Reserved seat ticket price is $35. For more information, call 850-785-7677 or visit

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