Southwest Florida Symphony: Dvoråk: From the New World, on Wednesday, March 11th at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island at 8PM and on Monday, March 16th at the Shell Point Village Church at 7:30PM, Conducted by Maestro Leif Bjaland

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8290 College Pkwy Suite 103 Ft. Myers, FL 33919 239-418-1500

The Southwest Florida Symphony presents a Discovery Concert;

Dvorak: From the New World at BIG ARTS, Sanibel

and at the Shell Point Village Church


Date: February 17, 2015

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 only Discovery Concert of its 54th season, Dvoråk: From the New World, on Wednesday, March 11th at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island at 8PM and on Monday, March 16th at the Shell Point Village Church at 7:30PM. Conducted by Maestro Leif Bjaland, Dvoråk: From the New World presents a fascinating look into the life and music of Antonin Dvoråk. Antonin Dvoråk arrived in New York City in the midst of the 400th anniversary celebration of Columbus’s discovery of America. Dvorak’s own two-year journey of discovery in the new world would culminate in the creation of one of the greatest symphonies ever written in the Americas. Like last season’s “The Miracle of Mozart,” audiences will experience the story of the symphony’s creation in a multi-media format with narration, images and underscoring, followed by a full performance of Dvorak’s 9th Symphony: From the New World.

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, 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),

Leif Bjaland Bio

Leif Bjaland is one of the most dynamic and exciting American conductors now before the public. He served as the Artistic Director/Conductor of the Sarasota Orchestra, during which time the orchestra saw unprecedented growth. Mr. Bjaland is currently the Music Director of the Waterbury Symphony in Connecticut where he has received enormous enthusiasm and critical praise for his performances and imaginative programming.

A popular and active guest conductor, Mr. Bjaland made his debut at the 2003 Ravinia Festival conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in a program entitled “Bernstein on Broadway” also involving soloists, chorus and dancers. He has appeared with the San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Florida Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic and the symphony orchestras of Fort Worth, Nashville, Detroit, Rochester, Utah, Madison, Akron, Fort Wayne, Fresno, Des Moines, Mobile, San Jose, Rhode Island, Virginia, Harrisburg, Colorado, Long Beach, Chicago’s Symphony II, Grand Rapids, Flint, Kalamazoo, and New World to name but a few. Mr. Bjaland led the Cincinnati Symphony at an opening concert of a Riverbend summer season, and conducted at Chicago’s Grant Park Music Festival in consecutive summers of 1995 and 1996. In 2001, he conducted the opening week of the Interlochen Arts Festival, and in the summer of 2002 guest conducted the Young Artists Orchestra at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute culminating in a performance in Ozawa Hall.

Mr. Bjaland is also an active opera conductor and has assisted in the production of David Carlson’s The Midnight Angel at Glimmerglass Opera. He conducted the Florida Grand Opera in three productions in four years including a highly acclaimed Don Giovanni a triple bill of oneact operas by Manuel de Falla El Amor Brujo, Master Peter’s Puppet Show and La Vida Breve; and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Bjaland received great attention and critical acclaim when he gave the world premiere concert performance of George Chadwick’s opera The Padrone. In 200001 Leif Bjaland conducted a new commission by the Florida West Coast Symphony of David Carlson’s Quantumsymphony.

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.


Event: Southwest Florida Symphony presents Dvoråk: From the New World

Dates: Wednesday, March 11 and Monday, March 16, 2015

Location: March 11 at BIG ARTS, Sanibel Island and March 16 at Shell Point Village Church

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

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