CAF was founded forty years ago by Drucker, who studied voice at Curtis and the University of Miami's School of Music. She has been administering and programming CAF — now the largest and highest-profile presenter of classical music and dance companies in the southeastern United States — since it grew out of a modest concert series she inaugurated in 1967 at Temple Beth Sholom in Miami.
A recent article in The Miami Herald said of Drucker: "Irrepressible, irreplaceable, indomitable, inimitable. Impresaria par excellence. If South Florida did not have Judy Drucker we'd have to invent her. Rubinstein, Heifetz, Zukerman, Pavarotti, Domingo, Bartoli, Perlman, Price, Ailey, Watts, Baryshnikov. Who has not come here thanks to Judy Drucker?"
Yet the organization has been plagued by financial woes, although the Herald writes that Drucker is optimistic about a plan her board chairman, Robert F. Hudson Jr., and board member Adrienne Arsht have devised to eliminate the deficit within the next three years.
The Concert Association of Florida is one of the four resident companies at the recently-opened Carnival Center for the Performing Arts and will present its Miami seasons in the complex.
Albert Milano has worked closely with the Carnival Center Foundation over the past ten years, including the past two years in which he has served full-time as the foundation's executive director.
Milano was managing director of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in the 1970s; he subsequently managed the Dallas Theater Center and Cleveland Play House before joining C.W. Shaver & Company, a performing arts fundraising firm. He then founded Milano, Ruff and Associates, which worked with the Performing Arts Center Foundation of Greater Miami, the organization that worked on fundraising and support for what became the Carnival Center. Milano was also founding producer of the Dallas Jazz Festival and producer of various concert and theater series in different parts of the country.
"Albert has been tremendously instrumental in the success of Carnival Center's capital campaign and recent grand opening. Now, with the center successfully launched, we feel this is a wonderful opportunity for him, the Concert Association and the center," commented Sherwood Weiser, chairman of the foundation's board.