The Punta Gorda Symphony continues its classical concert series with a Feb. 9 program featuring the award-winning classical guitarist Celil Refik Kaya.

The concert will gives you a taste of Mozart with his charming “Marriage of Figaro Overture,” followed by a spin into the world of Castelnuovo-Tedesco featuring the brilliant classical guitarist Celil Refik Kaya, and another ode to Mother Nature in Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6, Pastorale.”

Celil Refik Kaya appears as a soloist and international artist touring the United States and Turkey, collaborating with professional orchestras including the Buffalo Philharmonic, Virginia Symphony, Presidential Symphony Orchestra in Turkey, Istanbul State Symphony, Hilton Head Symphony, Brevard Festival Orchestra and Lake Placid Sinfonietta. He also conducts masterclasses in music festivals and universities and is an avid composer with more than 100 pieces including works for orchestra, solo guitar, violin, piano and strings. As a performer Kaya works closely with our generation’s great composers including Lowell Liebermann, Jorge Morel and Roberto Sierra.

Since his concert debut at the age of 6, Kaya has received myriad accolades, including being the youngest to win First Prize in the 2012 JoAnn Falletta International Guitar Concerto Competition with the Buffalo Philharmonic. In 2017 he was awarded “Rising Young Musician of the Year” by the Donizetti Classical Music Awards in Istanbul.

Several activities leading up to the concert are designed to offer a more intimate experience of the music and of this talented visiting musician.

Composers Luncheon

Opportunities to engage with the music begin at 11:30 a.m. Feb. 6 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. Symphony Friends will present an enlightening introduction to the composers featured in the Feb. 9 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.

Behind the Notes

Maestro Raffaele Ponti and guest artist Celil Refik Kaya will share their personal insights and experiences with the music as they go “behind the notes” at 4 p.m. Feb. 7. The audience will gain a fresh appreciation for the music featured at the Feb. 9 concert, 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. FSW Charlotte Campus, Auditorium, 26300 Airport Road, Punta Gorda. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased at lifelonglearning-charlotte.org or 941-637-3533.

Pre-Performance Talk

Concert ticket-holders can continue their music appreciation through this regularly scheduled pre-performance talk led by WGCU’s John Davis. Musical Conversations with John Davis will include an interview with Guest Artist Celil Refik Kaya designed to illuminate the music on the concert’s program. All concert ticket-holders are invited to join, one hour prior to showtime. All this activity culminates with the concert at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 9 at Charlotte Performing Arts Center, 701 Carmalita St., Punta Gorda. Concert tickets are $55 for adults and $15 for students. Free to concert ticket holders.

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