Punta Gorda Symphony concert weekend includes enrichment activities

The Punta Gorda Symphony debuts under its new name at a season opening concert Nov. 10 at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center.

The Punta Gorda Symphony debuts under its new name at a season opening concert on Nov. 10 at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center.

There will be several opportunities to enrich the concert experience in the days leading up to the performance. The season opener will be a stunner. The rarely heard “Concerto for Double Bass” by Koussevitzky will feature the extraordinary Leonid Finkelshteyn on bass and is a great opportunity to hear what this instrument is capable of when showcased.

Maestro Ponti describes the piece as “a rare chance to hear the bass transformed into a solo voice as if it were a violin.” Finkelshteyn joins the Punta Gorda Symphony as a guest artist, visiting from North Carolina where he is principal bass and faculty member of the North Carolina Symphony and the Eastern Music Festival Orchestra. The concert opens with Strauss’ “Don Juan” and closes with Mendelssohn’s historic celebration “Symphony No. 5 (Reformation).”

Composers Luncheon

Opportunities to engage with the music begin with the Composers Luncheon. This regularly scheduled event is an activity of the Punta Gorda Symphony Friends, the volunteer affiliate group organizing social and volunteer activities that benefit, promote and serve the Punta Gorda Symphony while providing friendship through a common interest. Dr. Sharon MacLaren, President of the Symphony Friends, will present an enlightening introduction to the composers featured in the Nov. 10 concert program. Cost is $15 and includes lunch with a glass of wine and a contribution to the Punta Gorda Symphony. Call Janet at 813-708-3292 to reserve your spot. 11:30 a.m. Nov. 7 at Punta Gorda Woman’s Club, 118 Sullivan St., Punta Gorda.

Behind the Notes

Maestro Raffaele Ponti and guest artist Leonid Finkelshteyn will share their personal insights and experiences with the music as they go “behind the notes.” The audience will gain a fresh appreciation for how the “Concerto for Double Bass” fits in the classical repertoire, what it’s like for conductor and artist to perform and what to listen for in the concert. This lively and entertaining discussion is an opportunity for non-musicians to explore music in a format audiences can see nowhere else. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at lifelonglearning-charlotte.org or 941-637-3533. 4 p.m. Nov. 8 at Florida Southwestern State College, auditorium, 26300 Airport Road, Punta Gorda.

Pre-Performance Talk: Musical Conversations with John Davis

Concert ticket-holders can continue their music appreciation through this regularly scheduled pre-performance talk led by radio personality John Davis, local host for NPR’s Morning Edition and producer and host for WGCU’s radio talk program Gulf Coast Live. Beginning at 6:30 p.m., all Nov. 10 concert ticket-holders are invited as John Davis provides insights into the works on the evening’s program, and interviews Guest Artist Leonid Finkelshteyn. All this activity culminates with the concert. Tickets are still available at $55 for adults and $15 for students. Charlotte Performing Arts Center, 701 Carmalita St., Punta Gorda.

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