With expanded concerts, the retooled South Florida Symphony is set to make an ambitious debut
The neatly paved streets of downtown Fort Lauderdale are littered with the detritus of failed orchestras. The Florida Philharmonic Orchestra, which went bankrupt in 2003, is the most infamous and tragic, but in its wake there have been other attempts to launch an ensemble with a Broward County emphasis. Among these have been the Renaissance Chamber Orchestra, the Florida Symphony and others, all of which couldn’t sustain themselves due to a lack of financial resources, stagnant ticket sales, incompetent management or a combination of the above.
Enter the South Florida Symphony Orchestra, which will open its first full season at the Broward Center in October. Formerly known as the Key West Symphony, under the guidance of its dynamic CEO Jacqueline Lorber, the South Florida Symphony is aggressively expanding to a four-county series with performances at the Broward Center, Lincoln Theatre in Miami Beach, Tennessee Williams Theatre in Key West and one night at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach. The orchestra’s offices are now located at the Leiser Opera Center in Fort Lauderdale.
Music director Sebrina Maria Alfonso will lead five programs featuring an impressive array of guest artists for the South Florida Symphony’s inaugural expanded season. Violinist Chee-Yun will open the season Oct. 6-9 to perform the Beethoven Violin Concerto on a program that also includes music of Brahms and Elgar.
Lara. St. John will be the featured soloist Dec. 1-5 performing works of Mozart and Sarasate on a program that also includes Beethoven’s Symphony No. 4.
Barry Douglas will be the solo protagonist in Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 2 Jan. 28-Feb. 1 with Alfonso also conducting works of Vaughan Williams and Khachaturian.
One of the most intriguing programming elements is the South Florida Symphony’s commitment to music of Ellen Taaffe Zwilich. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Miami-born composer’s works have been woefully neglected locally, and the South Florida Symphony is set to rectify that by presenting two recent Zwilich works. A chamber concert featuring the SIMA Trio March 2-7 will present Zwilich’s Sextet and the season-closing concerts (April 29-May 1) will include the Florida premiere of Zwilich’s Symphony No. 5, a work the orchestra plans to record. That program will also feature Shostakovich’s Festival Overture and pianist Adam Golka playing Tchaikovsky.
For further information and to purchase single tickets and season subscriptions, call 800-775-4086 or go to www.southfloridasymphony.org.
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Wed Sep 1, 2010
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