Southwest Florida Symphony presents Simply Classics at the Shell Point Village Church and at BIG ARTS, Sanibel

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The Southwest Florida Symphony presents Simply Classics at the Shell Point Village Church and at BIG ARTS, Sanibel

 

Date: Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Contact: (239) 418-0996

E-mail: Amy Padilla at [email protected]

Fort Myers, FL The Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee County’s only professional orchestra and one of the oldest symphony orchestras on Florida’s gulf coast, presents the first concerts of its Shell Point Series and Sanibel Series, Simply Classics, on Tuesday, January 13th at the Shell Point Village Church at 7:30PM and at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island on Wednesday, January 14th at 8PM. Simply Classics features pieces by great composers of the classical music era (1750-1820) whose styles inspired future generations of composers from the Romantic Era, even through compositions of the 21st Century. Music selections include Haydn’s Overture to Armida, Mozart’s Piano Concerto in A, featuring pianist Andrew Armstrong, who receives regular airplay on NPR Classical Radio and WQXR Classical Radio in New York City, and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4. Simply Classics will be conducted by the Southwest Florida Symphony’s new music director, Maestro Nir Kabaretti and features guest pianist Andrew Armstrong. Tickets to the Shell Point Village Church concert cost $20 and tickets to the BIG ARTS concert cost $36 per person. Tickets to both concerts may be purchased online at www.swflso.org, by visiting the Southwest Florida Symphony Box Office located at 8290 College Parkway, Suite 103 in Fort Myers or by calling the Symphony Box Office at (239) 418-1500. Box office hours are from 10:00AM-4:00PM on Monday through Friday.

Southwest Florida Symphony General Information

The Southwest Florida Symphony is the only professional orchestra in Lee County and one of the oldest on Florida’s gulf coast. It enters its 54th season this year, having made its debut as a community orchestra on April 15, 1961. Conducted by Arlo Deibler, the Symphony began its life as a community orchestra and its original roster consisted of 24 musicians. It performed in community centers and schools throughout Lee and Collier Counties. It has since grown to become Lee County’s only professional symphony orchestra, filling Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall with symphonic music enthusiasts and a roster consisting of more than 65 world-class musicians. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 54th year promises to be a season of excitement and celebration as it welcomes its new maestro, internationally acclaimed Nir Kabaretti. The incoming music director will be the fifth in the organization’s history and was selected through a painstaking process of interviews, public appearances and live auditions during the 2013-14 season. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s mission is to celebrate the joy of music and to inspire audiences with a variety of quality concerts performed by professional musicians that are accessible to all.

This season features the Southwest Florida Symphony’s signature Masterworks Classical Concert Series, entitled A Symphonic Voyage Across the World (November 15, A Postcard from Italy; January 17, American Masterpieces; February 21, Viva España; March 28, From Russia with Love; and April 25 & 26, Beethoven: JOY!), a special Holiday Pops concert entitled Christmas in Paradise on Saturday, December 13 at Barbara B. Mann Hall, Monday, December 15 at the Shell Point Village Church and Wednesday, December 17 at BIG ARTS on Sanibel; its Pops Series entitled Quintessential Southwest Florida, (The Music of Champions: Sports Themes, Fight Songs & the Sounds of Team Spirit on February 6 & 7; A Tribute to Erich Kunzel on March 13 & 14; and Classic Country: A Salute to Dolly & Patsy on April 3 & 4), a Sanibel Series, performed at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island (January 14, February 11 and March 11) and additional concerts at the Shell Point Village Church (January 13 and March 16),

Maestro Nir Kabaretti Bio

Nir Kabaretti comes to Southwest Florida from the Santa Barbara Symphony in California, where he also serves as music and artistic director. He enters his eighth season with Santa Barbara this year. He has been described as “a conductor with immense musicality and warm personality” by Maestro Zubin Mehta. Kabaretti has earned an impressive reputation across continents for his command of a vast symphonic and operatic repertoire.

Upon graduation from the prestigious University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna, Kabaretti began working as coach and Chorus Master at the Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival. He later advanced to positions as Assistant to the Music Director at the Teatro Real in Madrid and Personal Assistant to Maestro Zubin Mehta at Teatro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Italy.

Nir Kabaretti has worked with some of the world’s most sought-after musicians, such as Lang Lang, Placido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman, and Hélène Grimaud. His guest conducting appearances have included the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmonica de Buenos Aires, Orquestre National du Theatre du Capitole de Toulouse, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestra del Teatro dell’Opera di Roma, Orchestra del Teatro Petruzzelli di Bari, Orchestra del Teatro Carlo Felice di Genova, Orchestra Sinfonica Giuseppe Verdi di Milano, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Haifa Symphony Orchestra, Vienna Chamber Orchestra, La Orquesta Sinfonica de Madrid, Real Orquesta Sinfònica de Sevilla, La Orquesta Filarmonica de Gran Canaria and the Bochumer Symphoniker.

He was appointed Principal Conductor of the Raanana Symphonette Orchestra in Israel in 2002, and later its Music Director till 2008.

Kabaretti’s operatic experience includes productions at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Teatro Real in Madrid, The Israeli Opera, Opéra de Lausanne, Avenches Opera Festival in Switzerland, Tokyo New National Theatre and Opera Santa Barbara.

He conducted The Diary of Anne Frank, a guest production of the Vienna State Opera performed at both the Bregenz Festival and Expo 2000 in Hannover. In 2005, Kabaretti lead Teatro San Carlo di Napoli on its first tour to Japan, conducting Il Trovatore both in Kyoto and Tokyo.

During the 2004-05 season he made his debut at Teatro alla Scala di Milano. In 2007 he was invited again for the ballet production of Mendelssohn’s Midsummer night’s Dream (broadcasted by Italian television RAI, and released as a commercial DVD).

Maestro Kabaretti received the America-Israel Cultural Foundation Grant for Young Conductors. In 1993, he won the Forum Junger Künstler Conducting Competition in Vienna. In 1994 he was among the finalists in the International Competition for Conductors in Douai, France.

Andrew Armstrong Bio

Praised by critics for his passionate expression and dazzling technique, pianist Andrew Armstrong has delighted audiences around the world. He has performed solo recitals and appeared with orchestras in Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the United States, including performances at Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Grand Hall of the Moscow Conservatory, and Warsaw’s National Philharmonic. He has performed with such conductors as Peter Oundjian, Itzhak Perlman, Günther Herbig, Stefan Sanderling, Jean-Marie Zeitouni, and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, and in chamber music with violinist James Ehnes, cellist Robert deMaine, the Elias, Alexander, American, and Manhattan String Quartets, as a member of the Caramoor Virtuosi at the Caramoor International Music Festival, and as a member of the Jupiter Symphony Chamber Players in New York City. Since 2010, he has been a member of the Amelia Piano Trio.

This 2014-2015 season, Mr. Armstrong performs Saint-Saëns’ distinctive 5th Piano Concerto (“The Egyptian”), Mozart’s 23rd in A Major, K488, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and Beethoven’s 5th Piano Concerto, the Emperor.

Having performed over 50 concertos, Armstrong has impressed his international audiences with a large repertoire ranging from Bach to Babbit and beyond. Before beginning his career as a concert pianist, Armstrong received over 25 national and international First Prizes. In 1996, he was named Gilmore Young Artist. At the 1993 Van Cliburn Competition, where he was the youngest pianist entered, he received the Jury Discretionary Award. The New York Times wrote, “Armstrong may have been the most talented player in the competition….He’s a real musician. We’ll hear more from him.” As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, Van Cliburn himself, “in a rare showing of enthusiasm for an individual competitor,” called Mr. Armstrong “Fabulous! Fabulous!”

Andrew Armstrong’s debut CD, featuring Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Sonata and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, was released in 2004 to critical acclaim. The critic Bradley Bolen opined: “I have heard few pianists play [Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Sonata], recorded or in concert, with such dazzling clarity and confidence” (American Record Guide, Nov/Dec, 2004). His follow-up CD was issued in November 2007 on Cordelia Records and includes works by Chopin, Liszt, Debussy, and the world premiere recording of Bielawa’s Wait for piano & drone. In chamber music, Mr. Armstrong has collaborated with violinist James Ehnes, having released 4 CDs to critical acclaim. Upcoming releases include works of Strauss & Franck, Leclair & Tartini-Kreisler. The Amelia Trio releases its first CD with Armstrong as pianist, this February 2015, trios of Debussy and Tchaikovsky.

Andrew Armstrong is devoted to outreach programs and playing for children. In addition to his many concerts, his performances are heard regularly on National Public Radio and WQXR, New York City’s premier classical music station.

Southwest Florida Symphony Sponsors

The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 2014-15 sponsors include The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, The City of Ft. Myers, The State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, The Florida Council on Arts & Culture, The Southwest Florida Symphony Endowment Foundation, The Southwest Florida Symphony Society, The L.A.T. Foundation, Uhler & Vertich Financial Planners, Mr. Richard Prescott, The Neil Goldberg Dream Foundation, Rev. Gary & Mrs. Christine LaCroix, Mr. & Mrs. Charles B. Munsch, Mr. Don Fjellin, ‘Tween Waters Inn, Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, Crowne Plaza, Shoeless Joe’s, Mastello Ristorante, Sheeley Architects, Eric Diefenbach & JK Brown, LCEC, The Cape Coral Community Foundation, Baird Private Wealth Management and Rebecca Ross, Mr. & Mrs. Stefan & Christine Riesenfeld, The Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation, The City of Fort Myers, The Friends of the Symphony on Sanibel, The Friends of Beethoven, Mr. & Mrs. Steve and Charlotte Qua and Mr. & Mrs. Mark and Christine Strom.

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Event: Southwest Florida Symphony presents Simply Classics

Dates: Tuesday, January 13th and Wednesday, January 14th, 2015

Location: January 13th at Shell Point Village Church and January 14th at BIG ARTS, Sanibel

Time: The Shell Point concert begins at 7:30PM and the BIG ARTS concert begins at 8PM

Tickets: Shell Point tickets cost $20, BIG ARTS tickets cost $36.

For tickets and more information, call the box office at 239-418-1500 or administrative office at 239-418-0996 or visit www.swflso.org

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