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South Florida Symphony Orchestra Celebrates 25th Anniversary with Three Masterworks Performances in Key West

KEY WEST, Florida Keys — South Florida Symphony Orchestra, launched 25 years ago in Key West under the direction of resident Maestra Sebrina Maria Alfonso, is celebrating its 2022-23 season with three performances in the island city.

The symphony is to present its first Key West anniversary performance Saturday, Jan. 28, at the Tennessee Williams Theatre at the College of the Florida Keys, 5901 College Road, with Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9. The rebellious musician, who died in 1975, premiered his first symphony in 1926.

“Shostakovich opposed a totalitarian regime in his time, delivering a neoclassical work that was considered more of a rebuke than a celebration of ultimate strength and power,” said Alfonso. “His ninth symphony certainly resonates with what is presently happening in Ukraine today.”

Additionally, the symphony and its composer-in-residence, Key West’s John Gottsch, will debut “Ocklawaha,” a Florida-inspired world premiere named after a 74-mile-long Florida river. The orchestral work brings to life the various struggles of Florida’s Native American ancestors.

The concert will also include a selection of opera arias from Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini and AgustínLara performed by soprano Catalina Cuervo and tenor Adam Diegel.

The symphony’s Feb. 18 performance is to feature Johannes Brahms’ famed final symphonic work “Double Concerto” with Geneva Lewis on violin and Gabriel Martins on cello. Also to be performed are Symphony No. 5 by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and the spirited overture “Béatrice et Bénédict” by French composer Hector Berlioz.

On March 25, an Antonín Dvorák Masterworks concert is to showcase Zuill Bailey — the Grammy Award–winning American cellist who performed during the symphony’s inaugural concert in Key West — with “Cello Concerto in B minor.”

Each of the three Saturday performances begins at 7:30 p.m. 

Music Director Alfonso founded the symphony in 1997 in Key West. Today based in Wilton Manors, Florida, it’s recognized for creatively dynamic, educational and engaging concert presentations.

Individual performance tickets priced from $25 to $95 are on sale now. Two- and three-performance packages are also available. Avid symphony aficionados can purchase the same seats to each Key West performance.

Season information, calendar and ticketing: southfloridasymphony.org/2022-23-season, 305-295-7676 or 954-522-8445

South Florida Symphony Orchestra, founded 25 years ago in Key West, returns to it island city home for three concerts led by founding Maestra Sebrina Maria Alfonso.

South Florida Symphony Orchestra, founded 25 years ago in Key West, returns to it island city home for three concerts led by founding Maestra Sebrina Maria Alfonso.

Composer-in-residence and Key West resident John Gottsch debuts “Ocklawaha,” a Florida-inspired world premiere inspired by the 74-mile-long Florida river.

Composer-in-residence and Key West resident John Gottsch debuts “Ocklawaha,” a Florida-inspired world premiere inspired by the 74-mile-long Florida river.

Grammy Award-winning cellist Zuill Baily performs Antonin Dvorak’s “Cello Concert in B minor” on with the orchestra during the March 25 performance.

Grammy Award-winning cellist Zuill Baily performs Antonin Dvorak’s “Cello Concert in B minor” on with the orchestra during the March 25 performance.

Founding Maestra and music director Alfonso is recognized for creatively dynamic, educational and engaging concert presentations.

Founding Maestra and music director Alfonso is recognized for creatively dynamic, educational and engaging concert presentations.

This article was updated on January 31, 2023 at 7:59 AM
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