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Spisto's Achievements

March 07, 1998

In response to "Remembering PSO's Early Days" (Feb. 28), a letter written by Mark McGurty, we praise The Times for its coverage of the 10-year tenure of Louis G. Spisto, Pacific Symphony Orchestra vice president and executive director.

Lou took a local orchestra on unsteady financial footing and propelled it to artistic growth and accomplishment with the hiring of music director Carl St.Clair, drawing widespread critical acclaim from the media as well as other national orchestras who now look to the PSO as a role model for innovation.

Our recordings on the prestigious Koch and Sony Classical labels, the naming of top American composer Richard Danielpour as our new composer-in-residence, and the national acclaim of such PSO education programs "Class Act" are but a handful of examples of how Lou put the orchestra on the map.

With the collapse of the San Diego and Sacramento symphonies, the PSO now ranks behind only the Los Angeles Philharmonic and San Francisco Symphony in budget size, and it proudly remains deficit-free on the eve of its 20th anniversary season.

Most significant, an ever-increasing audience of nearly 17,000 subscribers and donors and a total of more than 250,000 music lovers support and enjoy the orchestra year-round through more than 60 concerts and live broadcasts on KKGO. This backing is the biggest testament to the orchestra's success under Lou's leadership, and its biggest promise for the future.

We wish Lou all the best in his new role as president of Detroit Symphony Hall. While the PSO is grateful for the founding of the orchestra under former music director Keith Clark and his right-hand administrator, Mark McGurty, we are steadfast in our commitment to the community to catch the tail of another rising star who will take the PSO to even greater heights at the dawn of the new century.

JANICE JOHNSON

Board president, Pacific Symphony Assn.

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