A Fitting 10th Anniversary Finale for Symphonia Boca Raton
By Skip Sheffield
Gerard Schwarz and Mischa Dichter are together again for the Connoisseur Concert’s 10th season finale of the Symphonia Boca Raton at 3 p.m. Sunday, March 20 in the Roberts Theatre of St. Andrew’s School, 3900 Jog Road, Boca Raton.
Gerard Schwarz, renowned conductor laureate of the Seattle Symphony, conductor of the prestigious All-Star Orchestra and founder of the Kahn Academy, is back as guest conductor of the Boca Symphonia. The concert features his long-time friend, pianist Misha Dichter, as soloist in a “Tribute to the Masters” program.
The occasion will be doubly meaningful for Misha Dichter, because it marks the 50th anniversary of his first-place win at the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition (the second after Van Cliburn) and he will be given a special honor by the Symphonia.
“We will be honoring Misha Dichter with our Apollo Award,” revealed Symphonia artistic director and first trumpet Jeffrey Kaye. “The program is especially exciting for me because of Ives’ quirky `Unanswered Question.’ I first played it years ago with James Judd.”
Kaye first worked with Gerard Schwarz in 2009 at the Eastern Music Festival, when Schwarz was director. Kaye says it took some doing, but he vowed to get Schwarz to come to Florida to guest conduct the Boca Symphonia.
“I love coming to Boca Raton,” Schwarz says. “I get to spend time with my grandsons, who are 7 and 8, and I play tennis at the Boca Raton Resort.”
The March 20 program, which will have an encore performance March 22 at Eissey Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens, begins with Beethoven’s Corillan Overture, followed by his Piano Concerto No. 1, featuring Mr. Dichter. Charles Ives’ “Unanswered Question” is only six minutes long, and it features Jeff Kaye playing trumpet offstage. Concluding the program is Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 4 “Italian.”
The Connoisseur Concert weekend begins with a Friday, March 18 “Box Lunch with the Symphony,” which for this special occasion will honor two longtime Symphonia supporters, Molly Foreman Kozel and Mimi Sadler.
“My dad was a music lover- he loved opera,” commented Molly Foreman. “So I grew up with music, and it has always been a part of my life. We had a few good years with the Boca Raton Symphony, but they blew it after they merged with the Fort Lauderdale Symphony. Marshall Turkin and Martin Coyne, with the support of Martin Stein, founded the Symphonia on a more manageable model and solid financial basis. Miami Sadler was with the Boca Pops for many years. I suggested her to the Symphonia and she has been a good board member. We are proud of what the Symphonia has accomplished in just ten years.”
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