The Southwest Florida Symphony Presents its new Summer Staycation℠ Concerts

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The Southwest Florida Symphony

Presents its new

Summer Staycation Concerts

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, kicks off its 55th season a few months early with the introduction of its new Summer Staycation Concerts. The Southwest Florida Symphony, along with first prize winner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition and a Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth International Violin Competition, Nikki Chooi, along with multi international award winning pianist Alexandra Carlson, brings the music of The Seasons, featuring performances of Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and Astor Piazzolla’s The Seasons of Buenos Aires to three Lee County venues. Concerts take place at Faith Presbyterian Church in Cape Coral on Wednesday, August 12th at 7:30PM, The Village Church at Shell Point on Thursday, August 13th at 7:30PM and the Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center on Friday, August 14th at 8:00PM. Tickets to each performance cost $25 and 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, by calling the Symphony Box Office at (239) 418-1500. Tickets may also be purchased at each venue.

Summer StaycationConcerts

Borne of sparse entertainment offerings during the summer months, the Southwest Florida Symphony created Summer Staycation Concerts. As Southwest Florida’s full time resident population continues to grow, so does its desire for diverse year-round live performance offerings. As a result, the symphony developed modestly priced concerts featuring light popular classical pieces and exciting new music performed in intimate settings throughout the community.

Nikki Chooi Bio

Canadian Violinist, Nikki Chooi has been described as “richly expressive and technically assured” (Calgary Herald) and “vigorous and colorful” (New York Times).

As First Prize Winner of the 2013 Michael Hill International Violin Competition, Nikki recently completed an extensive recital tour with Chamber Music New Zealand, performed with Giordano Bellincampi and the Auckland Philharmonia, record his debut album with the Atoll Label, and was featured at Australia’s Musica Viva Recital Series. He is also a winner of the 2013 Astral Artists’ Auditions and Laureate of the 2012 Queen Elisabeth Violin Competition.

In 2014-2015, Nikki made his debut as Soloist with the Malaysian Philharmonic and the St.Petersburg State Symphony at the Musical Olympus Festival in Russia. His Concerto Engagements in recent years have included performing with the Victoria Symphony, the Edmonton Symphony, National Orchestra of Belgium, Orchestre Royal de Chambre de Wallonie, the Peninsula Symphony, the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Winnipeg Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the West Virginia Symphony, and the Louisville Orchestra.

His Recital Engagements have included: the Vancouver Recital Series, Debut Atlantic Canada Recital Tour, Canadian National Arts Debut Series, Caramoor Rising Stars Series in New York, Chamber Music Tulsa, Dame Myra Hess Series in Chicago, La Monnai “Concertini” in Belgium, Chicago’s Harris Theatre, and Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.

Passionate in Chamber Music as well, Nikki has performed in many international festivals including the Marlboro Music Festival, the Ravinia Festival, the Dresden Music Festival in Germany, Montreal Chamber Fest, Napa Valley’s Music from the Vineyards, and Music from Angel Fire. He has collaborated in performances with Pamela Frank, Gary Graffman, Kim Kashkashian and with members of the Guarneri String Quartet, Juilliard String Quartet, Vermeer String Quartet, Orion String Quartet. In 2009, Nikki was a core member of the Curtis on Tour to Europe ensemble performing with Roberto Diaz and Robert MacDonald.

Nikki’s 2015/2016 will include a tour of Canada with Jeunesses Musicale du Canada, a tour of Australia with Selby and Friends, performances with the Southwest Florida Orchestra, Edmonton Symphony, Saskatoon Symphony, Symphony in C, Huntsville Symphony, and recitals appearances at Arizona’s Friends of Chamber Music, the Orford Arts Centre, the Mooredale Series in Toronto, and Philadelphia’s Astral Artists Season Series. He will also perform in festivals such as the Montreal Chamber Fest, Harriet and Friends in Vienna, and Chamber Music Northwest in Portland.

Nikki gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, CBC Radio, the Sylva Gelber Foundation, and the Victoria Foundation. He uses the 1700 “Taft” Stradivari on generous loan from the Canada Council for the Arts Musical Instrument Bank. He uses a Michael

Vann Bow and a J.Voirin Bow (made possible by the Gene Witz Memorial Foundation).

Background:
Nikki was born in 1989 to parents of Chinese descent in Victoria, British Columbia. He began his studies at the Victoria Conservatory of Music where at age 9, he became a protege of Sydney Humphreys. He is a graduate of the Mount Royal Conservatory under Bill van der Sloot, and received his undergraduate degree at the Curtis Institute of Music, and recently completed his studies at the Juilliard School with Ida Kavafian and Donald Weilerstein. In 2004, he came to national attention as the Grand Award winner of the Canadian National Music Festival and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal Standard Life Competition.

Alexandra Carlson Bio

Alexandra Carlson earned her Master of Piano Performance and her Doctorate of Musical Arts, cum laude, from the St. Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory. She has gained a reputation for brilliant performances as a chamber musician and as a soloist, winning prizes at the Maria Yudina International Piano Competition (Russia), the “Hopes, Talents, Masters” Competition (Bulgaria), and the London International Piano Competition (England).  The New Horizons Project (USA) awarded her a fellowship with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.  Recently, she performed at the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Hall and the Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall (Russia). 

Dr. Carlson was appointed Deputy Director of the Ohktinsky Centre for Aesthetic Education (St. Petersburg, Russia).  Her responsibilities included serving as Head of the Curriculum and as Head of the Instrumental Departments.  At the Institute for Economics, Culture and Business Administration, Dr. Carlson served as a member of the piano faculty.

Dr. Carlson appeared in the Baltic International Piano Duo Festival and the Atlantic Music Festival. She performed a series of chamber music concerts in Germany with the ensemble “Memorial”. Her performance as a soloist with the Junger Kunstler Bayreuth Festival Orchestra was featured on ARD television.  This past  season she was featured in The Rachmaninoff Festival, the US-Russia Bridge Project Festival, the Sypert Salon Series at the Naples Philharmonic Center for the Arts and in the Guest Artists Recital Series at the Bower School of Music at FGCU.  She also appeared in the Steinway Piano Society Recital Series, the Heath Recital Series, the Estero Concert Series, the Hyacinth Concert Series, and she performed Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” with the Naples Orchestra.  

In 2003, Dr. Carlson formed a piano duo, with Karina Sposobina of the Rimsky-Korsakov Conservatory faculty.  As “Duo Consenso”, they began by winning an award at the Valentino Bucci International Competition (Italy).   Since then they have vastly expanded their repertoire, and have performed frequently in the St. Petersburg Piano Duo Association concert series. Their recording of Rachmaninoff’s “Symphonic Dances” was featured on TVRC “Petersburg” radio, and recently they performed the Russian premiere of “Romantic Duets” by Rodion Shchedrin.

A devoted collaborative artist, Dr. Carlson served as principal accompanist for the vocal studio of the Tchaikovsky Competition prizewinner, Professor Victoria Evtodieva (St. Petersburg, Russia) and in the USA, as the rehearsal pianist and Russian diction coach with Harvard University’s Lowell House Opera (Cambridge, MA) and with Opera Naples (Naples, FL).  In addition to winning numerous awards in regional and international competitions as an accompanist, Alexandra Carlson mastered the interpretation of German lieder under Professor Siegfried Mauser.  Recent collaborations include performances with Kurt Ollmann, Raymond Gniewek, Adam Satinsky, Daniela Shtereva, Jonah Kim, Andrey Dogadin, Yana Ivanilova, Alexander Gergalov and Chrysalis.

An active advocate for contemporary music, Alexandra Carlson has performed American premieres by Russian composer Anton Tanonov, Russian premieres by composers Rodion Shschedrin, Ekaterina Blinova and Boris Arhkimandritov. More recently, as the Contemporary Ensemble Fellow at the Atlantic Music Festival (Waterville, ME) she performed 23 world premieres by resident composers.  Upcoming projects include recording of James Stephenson‘s “Croatian” trio for trumpet, flute and piano.

Southwest Florida Symphony General Information

The Southwest Florida Symphony is the only professional orchestra in Lee County and the one of the oldest on Florida’s gulf coast. It enters its 55th 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 55th year promises to be a season of continued enthusiasm as internationally acclaimed Maestro Nir Kabaretti leads the symphony into another season of blockbuster performances. Maestro Kabaretti is the fifth music director in the

organization’s history. His presence and caliber of musicality garnered record setting attendance at many of the symphony’s 2014-15 Masterworks Concerts. 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 Storybook (November 21, Carmina Burana; January 23, One Thousand and One Nights; February 13, Love Triangle; March 5, A Night at the Opera; and April 2 & 3, The Shakespeare Experience), a special Holiday Pops concert entitled The Holidays in Paradise on December 16 & 17 at Flagler College in St. Augustine, December 19 at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, December 20 at BIG ARTS on Sanibel and December 21 at The Village Church at Shell Point; its Pops Series entitled Award Winning Pops (Rodgers & Hammerstein Celebration on January 8 & 9; A Night at the Oscars on February 5 & 6; and The Sinatra Story on April 2 & 3), a chamber series called Small Stage Symphonies, performed at BIG ARTS on Sanibel Island (January 13, February 3 and March 23), Faith Presbyterian Church in Cape Coral (August 12, 2015, January 15 and March 22), The Village Church at Shell Point (August 13, 2015, January 14 and February 4), and at the Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center (August 14, 2015 and March 21).

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 ninth season with Santa Barbara and his second with the Southwest Florida Symphony. 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.

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.

Our Generous Sponsors

The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 2015-16 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 Cape Coral Community Foundation, The L.A.T. Foundation, Uhler & Vertich Financial Planners, The Neil Goldberg Dream Foundation, Mr. & Mrs. Charles B. Munsch, Mr. Ernie Fogg & Ms. Margot Flinn, The Enterprise Foundation, ‘Tween Waters Inn, Bailey’s General Store, Sanibel Captiva Community Bank, Crowne Plaza, Shoeless Joe’s, IberiaBank, The City of Fort Myers, The Friends of the Symphony on Sanibel and Mr. & Mrs. Steve and Charlotte Qua.

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Event: Southwest Florida Symphony’s Summer Staycation Concerts

Dates: Wednesday, August 12, Thursday, August 13 and Friday, August 14, 2015

Locations: Faith Presbyterian Church, Cape Coral, the Village Church at Shell Point and the Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center

Time: 7:30PM at Faith Presbyterian and Shell Point, 8:00PM at Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center

Tickets: from $25

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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