Arsht Center to launch new classical series this fall

By Lawrence A. Johnson

 The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts will launch a new classical music series next season that will offer a range of national and international artists, filling the gaping void left on the local arts scene by the demise of the Concert Association of Florida.

Arsht chief executive John Richard, above, said Friday that he was committed to ensuring that local audiences will still hear visiting classical artists and orchestras of the “stature and level” of those presented in the past by the defunct Concert Association.

 “We are really intent on reassuring the community that [classical music] is an important component and a core offering of this institution going forward,” Richard said.

 The Arsht Center’s new series will offer seven to nine classical events in 2009-2010, with details of artists and programming to be announced in three weeks. The center’s executive vice-president Scott Shiller is handling the programming, and Richard added, “we are very enthusiastic about the level and quality of the companies we are having conversations with.”

 After the Concert Association filed for bankruptcy in February, the Arsht Center picked up the presenting responsibility for most of the organization’s remaining Miami events this season. That includes the National Philharmonic of Russia, which will play this evening at the Knight Concert Hall, and for which, Richard said, 1,900 tickets have been sold.

 The loss of the Concert Association along with the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra going bankrupt in 2003, left the Arsht Center without two of its major classical resident presenters. That leaves Florida Grand Opera and the Cleveland Orchestra, which presents just six annual concerts, and three programs each season from the New World Symphony.  

Richard, who took the reins from predecessor Larry Wilker last December, admitted it was a challenge to pull together a classical lineup on short notice when top orchestras and artists are normally booked years in advance.  Still, with enough financial support from patrons and donors, Richard said he is confident that the center’s new series will prove a success.

 “I think we can weave together a very sensible and exciting season even this late in the game for classical music,” he said.  “This will certainly be a signature series of the Arsht Center Presents.”

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One Response to “Arsht Center to launch new classical series this fall”

  1. Posted Apr 13, 2009 at 9:08 am by Jeffrey Biegel

    I find it very exciting that this new series is created. Having performed numerous times in the South Florida region, I believe this new series will fill a void which is much needed and will be supported, hopefully, through the existing and new supporters of classical music in South Florida.

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Fri Apr 10, 2009
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