Nowak rejects symphony offer

July 9, 2015
Michael Nowak

Michael Nowak

Former San Luis Obispo Symphony conductor Michael Nowak announced Thursday morning that he will not accept an invitation to conduct three concerts during the 2015-2016 season.

Nowak, who served as conductor and musical director of the Symphony since 1984, was fired by the board of directors last May for unknown reasons. The invitation to come back as a guest conductor was issued following a public outcry over the dismissal and a lengthy mediation session with symphony musicians.

Lisa Nauful, Symphony marketing director, responded to Nowak’s announcement by saying that the upcoming season continues as planned, with a series of guest conductors being invited for all six concerts, beginning October 3 at the Performing Arts Center.

Nowak also announced that he will host a Pops concert in Avila Beach on Sunday afternoon, September 6, replacing the traditional annual concert from the SLO Symphony. Jazz vocalist Inga Swearingen will perform and KVEC radio host Dave Congalton has agreed to serve as emcee. Tickets will be on sale soon.

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This was an embarrassing attempt by the SLO Symphony Board to deal with a problem of their own making. They only made it worse for themselves — now they really look like fools.

The board and this Feingold individual need to be gone before the symphony completely implodes…


Feingold’s claim to fame in his previous job in Monterey was to place pianos around the town for the “common people” to play. Then, Monterey parted company with him and San Luis Obispo snapped him up. No telling what Feingold and the Board have in mind for the SLO Symphony.


This what happens when you put idiots in charge of really important decisions……Their usual excuse is “They had to do do it!” I am still wondering if they ever ask what was lost when they made their really dumb decision???


Good for you Mr. Nowak, you have principals and you did not bend to this bs of playing as a guest performer. You know the gang you Maestro for are behind you 1000%, you don’t need to lower yourself to their level.



Is anyone really surprised, other than the Symphony’s Board of Directors?

If they think he isn’t good to conduct the Symphony and they fire him, what has changed? Oh, I guess my suggestion of the Kazoo band didn’t go over well with them. Maybe they can procure a Hillbilly jug band? They can make music with local wine bottles, home made washboards and instruments. After all, they DID want a change…


I’m very pleased at the maestro’s decision…..the symphony board must come clean on

this fiasco. Until they do, I’m out for the next season and beyond.

Jorge Estrada

Huevos Maestro has his baton for the orchestra and doesn’t need one for Board of Directors! A truely dedicated spririt for music.


The board of directors have no huevos!


Michael is a class act. He knows what happened and that was enough to say no.


Take a bow Maestro…you did the right thing.


What is the story on this guy? He was fired for a reason. Any one have a clue?


Yeah, he didn’t pucker up enough on Feingold’s back side.


Yeah, tell Feingold to go suck an egg!


You are asking a question and not praising Nowak! You are curious about what happened and not demonizing the board! THUMBS DOWN FOR YOU! raaaawwrrr! (my best insane mob impression).