Southwest Florida Symphony presents Masterworks Series, From Russia with Love, on Saturday, March 28th at 8PM; Prior to the performance, at 7PM, patrons are invited to attend a conductor led pre-concert lecture

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The Southwest Florida Symphony presents

Masterworks IV: From Russia with Love

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 fourth concert in its Masterworks Series, From Russia with Love, on Saturday, March 28th at 8PM. Prior to the performance, at 7PM, patrons are invited to attend a conductor led pre-concert lecture. These lectures are offered in order to better educate audiences about the pieces being performed. Masterworks IV: From Russia with Love features works by great Russian composers; the passionate Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture by Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Maurice Ravel’s regal arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition by Modest Mussorgsky, and Rachmaninoff’s ever popular Piano Concerto No. 2, with a guest performance by Joshua Bell’s touring accompanist, Steinway Piano Artist, Alessio Bax. Tickets cost between $22 and $82 per person 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 or at the Barbara B. Mann Box Office one hour prior to the concert. Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall is located at 13350 Edison Parkway in Fort Myers.

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.

Alessio Bax Bio

Pianist Alessio Bax creates “a ravishing listening experience” with his lyrical playing, insightful interpretations, and dazzling facility. “His playing quivers with an almost hypnotic intensity,” says Gramophone magazine, leading to what Dallas Morning News calls “an out-of-body experience.”First Prize winner at the Leeds and Hamamatsu international piano competitions—and a 2009 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient—he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras, including the London and Royal Philharmonic orchestras, the Dallas and Houston symphonies, the NHK Symphony in Japan, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic with Yuri Temirkanov, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with Sir Simon Rattle.

After a summer residency debut at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Bax launches the 2014-15 season with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, playing two Mozart piano concertos for the society’s opening-night gala. October brings the release of his next Signum Classics solo album, an all-Beethoven program pairing the “Hammerklavier” and “Moonlight” Sonatas with the pianist’s own transcriptions of pieces from The Ruins of Athens. Upcoming orchestral highlights include performances of Beethoven’s “Emperor” Concerto and Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto with London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on a UK tour, Brahms’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in Denmark, and Rachmaninov’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini in Finland. With superstar violinist Joshua Bell, Bax embarks on three extensive tours of Europe and the United States, crowned by dates at London’s Wigmore Hall and L.A.’s Disney Hall. In May, he rejoins the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center for concerts at Alice Tully Hall and Boston’s Gardner Museum.

Among Bax’s recent highlights are Rachmaninov and Mozart with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic under Temirkanov, Barber with the Dallas Symphony under Jaap van Zweden and at the Grant Park Festival in Chicago, Mozart with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra under Hans Graf, Beethoven with the UK’s Southbank Sinfonia—with which he also recorded a pair of Mozart concertos—and debuts at Washington’s Kennedy Center, New York’s Carnegie Hall, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and 92nd Street Y, and the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. Besides giving solo recitals last season at Lincoln Center, in Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis, and Tokyo, Bax partnered with pianist Lucille Chung in the U.S., Canada, and Hong Kong, and Joshua Bell in South America. In summer 2013, he participated in nine different festivals, including his first residency with Maine’s Bay Chamber Concerts as recipient of the 2013 Andrew Wolf Chamber Music Award. He also received Lincoln Center’s 2013 Martin E. Segal Award, which recognizes young artists of exceptional accomplishment.

Fall 2013 marked the release of a duo disc with Lucille Chung, presenting Stravinsky’s original four-hand version of the ballet Pétrouchka as well as music by Brahms and Piazzolla; BBC Music magazine admired the pianists’ “easy rapport” and “smoky panache.” Bax’s celebrated discography for Signum Classics also includes Alessio Bax plays Mozart (Piano Concertos K. 491 and K. 595), Alessio Bax plays Brahms (Gramophone “Critic’s Choice”), Rachmaninov: Preludes and Melodies (American Record Guide “Critics’ Choice 2011”), and Bach Transcribed; and for Warner Classics, Baroque Reflections (Gramophone “Editor’s Choice”). He performed Beethoven’s “Hammerklavier” Sonata for maestro Daniel Barenboim in the PBS-TV documentary Barenboim on Beethoven: Masterclass, available as a DVD box set on the EMI label. His performances have been broadcast live on the BBC (UK); CBC (Canada); RAI (Italy); RTVE (Spain); NHK (Japan); WDR, NDR, and Bayerischer Rundfunk (Germany); American Public Media’s “Performance Today”; WQXR (New York); WGBH (Boston); WETA (Washington, DC); and Sirius-XM satellite radio, among many others.

Hailed by International Piano as “a pianist of refreshing depth,” Bax’s extensive concerto repertoire has led to performances with such esteemed conductors as Marin Alsop, Sergiu Commisiona, Vernon Handley, Pietari Inkinen, Jonathan Nott, Vasily Petrenko, Sir Simon Rattle, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jaap van Zweden. His international festival appearances include London’s International Piano Series (Queen Elizabeth Hall); the Verbier Festival in Switzerland; England’s Aldeburgh and Bath festivals; and the Ruhr Klavier-Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, and Schloss Elmau in Germany. He has also appeared multiple times at such U.S. festivals as Bravo! Vail, Bard Music Festival, and [email protected], and has given recitals in major music halls around the world, including Rome, Milan, Madrid, Mexico City, Paris, London, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong, New York, and Washington, DC. An active chamber musician, Bax has collaborated with Emanuel Ax, Joshua Bell, Sol Gabetta, Steven Isserlis, Paul Watkins, and Jörg Widmann, among others.

Alessio Bax graduated with top honors at the record age of 14 from the conservatory of his hometown in Bari, Italy, where he studied with Angela Montemurro. He studied in France with François-Joël Thiollier and attended the Chigiana Academy in Siena under Joaquín Achúcarro. In 1994 he moved to Dallas to continue his studies with Achúcarro at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts, and he is now on the teaching faculty there. He and his wife, pianist Lucille Chung, reside in New York City. Alessio Bax is a Steinway artist.

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 and Mr. & Mrs. Steve and Charlotte Qua

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Event: Southwest Florida Symphony’s Masterworks IV: From Russia with Love

Dates: Saturday, March 28th, 2015

Location: Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall

Time: 8:00PM, with a pre-concert lecture at 7PM

Tickets: from $22-$82

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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