Southwest Florida Symphony offers ‘tiny concerts’ at Coconut Point

  

By D. K. Christi

 

End of Masterworks Series 4

End of Masterworks Series 4

Live, classical music has arrived at Coconut Point Mall. The Southwest Florida Symphony Artistic and Operations Center recently relocated from Bell Tower to share its musical repertoire with south Lee County communities. Nearby residents may walk to the facilities to hear “tiny concerts” in an intimate setting at the symphony’s new base of operations: 23050 Via Villagio, suite 101.

Lee County’s only professional orchestra – and the fourth-oldest in the state – expects the new space to accommodate rehearsals, recitals, chamber concerts and other events in a comfortable, exceptional acoustical setting. Amy Ginsburg, chief executive officer of the Southwest Florida Symphony, says the new space is acoustically appointed so the orchestra will have an optimal environment to rehearse, perform tiny concerts and provide patrons with a chance to connect with world famous musicians.

For Ginsburg, the symphony experience represents a life well-lived that has brought her full circle from her childhood. Growing up in Philadelphia, she and her dad shared a special bond – love of the symphony and classical music.

“I was shocked over 43 years ago when we moved to southwest Florida, nearly a cultural desert at the time,” said Ginsburg. 

To ease her childhood distress, her father promised her a symphony and found the Fort Myers Symphony at Cape Coral High School that is today, under her direction, a solid member of an active cultural scene in Lee County. Ginsburg has been engaged with the symphony through its phenomenal growth and growing popularity in several capacities.

“I am now thankful for the childhood move to Fort Myers, where I had the right opportunities to fulfill my childhood passion,” said Ginsburg. “It’s the right place at the right time in the right circumstances.”

As Chief Executive Officer of the Artistic and Operations Center, Ginsburg was hands-on with the move from Bell Tower to Coconut Point, which provided more space, an acoustic upgrade with high ceilings, less glass to mitigate, and space to store large instruments.

“We can rehearse with 70-plus musicians with great sound and also provide performances – tiny concerts for an audience up to 150,” said Ginsburg. “A generous grant provided for the acoustical upgrades.”

The symphony’s major performances at Barbara B. Mann may attract 1,100 – 1,400 guests.

Conducting the orchestra is Radu Paponiu, the Southwest Florida Symphony’s sixth music director in its 62-year history. Paponiu also serves as the associate conductor and youth orchestra director for the Naples Philharmonic.

The symphony’s tremendous growth contributed to the Coconut Point relocation. It attracts professional talent and wider audiences throughout the region.

Julie Clark, director of marketing at Coconut Point, said the symphony contributes to Coconut Point’s goal of being a community hub that brings together art and culture to flourish.

“The professional musicians in the orchestra are selected through an extensive auditioning process,” said Ginsburg. “They may include young talent fresh from the conservancy, but they will have the required skills to perform under contract in a professional venue next to world famous musicians. Some of the previous performers went on to larger and more famous venues and experiences after their start with the Southwest Florida Symphony.”

The symphony’s move to Coconut Point presents an opportunity to bring the communities of Fort Myers, Estero and Bonita Springs together through musical enjoyment in a place where they already enjoy shopping and dining.

“Music should be a part of everyone’s life,” said Ginsburg. “Shoppers and visitors may get an introduction to the symphony through impromptu musical performances.”

A business meeting/celebration is planned for October 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the new location, Ginsburg said. She is grateful to the community for its support as the symphony reaches more people and connects with a rich, growing culture of music and the arts in the region.

To learn more about the Southwest Florida Symphony’s programming and initiatives, visit swflso.org.

Southwest Florida Symphony 2023

Southwest Florida Symphony 2023

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