Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Boca Symphonia Kicks Off 10th Season

Alastair Willis

A Triumphant Tenth Season for Symphonia Boca Raton

By Skip Sheffield

In today’s fast-paced, high-speed, 24/7 whirlwind we call life, sometimes we just need to slow down and smell the flowers. Or, in some cases, sit back and listen to the music. As South Floridians, how lucky are we to have our very own world-class chamber orchestra right here, ready to please our auditory senses.

The SYMPHONIA|Boca Raton, celebrating its 10th season, is masterful at providing an artistic blend of orchestral music, from classical legends to today’s celebrated composers. And, thanks to loyal support from classical music lovers, The SYMPHONIA  stands to be around at least another ten years.
To kick off this year’s popular Connoisseur Concert Series on Sunday, December 6, The SYMPHONIA will present “Gypsy Airs,” a trio of symphonic works featuring Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta, Beethoven’s Symphony #7, and renowned violin soloist, Charles Wetherbee, performs Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5.   Grammy-nominated maestro Alastair Willis will serve as Guest Conductor.
The December Connoisseur Weekend begins with an 11:30 Friday Dec. 4 Box lunch with the Symphonia at the Unitarian Congregation, 2601 St. Andrews Blvd. This event offers music lovers a sample of The Symphonia’s rehearsal, along with conversations with the musicians and guest artists. Grammy nominated Alastair Willis, currently Music Director of the Illinois Symphony, with varied experience as guest conductor, will speak about the “Gypsy Airs” program. The box lunch cost is $35, or all four box lunches are $100.
Saturday, Dec. 5 is a special day for children and their families, with an opportunity to interact with the conductor and musicians starting at 10:30 a.m. in the intimate, acoustically excellent Roberts Theatre of St. Andrew’s School, 3900 Jog Road. Admission is free for children and just $5 for adults.
The main event is the 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6 Connoisseur Concert at Roberts Theatre. The soloist is violinist Charles Weatherbee of the University of Colorado, Boulder and first violin of the Carpe Diem String Quartet. He will be featured on Mozart’s Violin Concert No. 5, A major. Beethoven’ Symphony No. 7, A major, op. 92 will be played. Mozart’s Violin Concerto should be familiar to most. Hungarian composer Zoltan Kodaly is less familiar, but he is a major name in classical music, having devised his own method of education. His “Dances of Galanta” will be performed.
Subsequent Connoisseur Concerts will be presented Jan. 8-10 with conductor and soloist David Kim, violin for a program of Bach, Pachebel and Piazzola. The Feb. 5-7 Connoisseur weekend features guest conductor Carolyn Kuan and piano soloist Alexandre Moutouzkine performing Copland, Poulenc, Faure and the ever-popular Mozart. Finally March 18-20 welcomes returning guest conductor Gerard Schwartz and renowned piano soloist Misha Dichter performing Beethoven, Ives and Mendelssohn.

And for the second year, The SYMPHONIA | Boca Raton will offer two ENCORE performances at the Eissey Campus Theatre at Palm Beach State College in Palm Beach Gardens. The first, on January 9, will feature Conductor David Kim and “The Four Seasons” program; and the second, on March 22, will be “A Tribute to the Masters,” with Conductor Gerard Schwarz and world-renowned pianist, Misha Dicter as soloist.
Season subscriptions range from $150 to $250. Single tickets are $45-$75. Call 866-687-1201 or go to
The SYMPHONIA was founded in 2004 on a sound business model by Marshall Turkin and Martin B. Coyne; both music professionals, with FPO principal trumpet Jeffrey Kaye as manager (and now artistic director). They enlisted the help of generous philanthropists Edith and Martin Stein for seed money and continuing support. The result is an orchestra that, in addition to its four Connoisseur Concert Season, performs in Palm Beach Gardens, accompanies the Master Chorale of South Florida, and performs community concerts sponsored by the City of Boca Raton. An outreach program provides education for young people.

Charles Weatherbee

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