The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO) presents the opening concert of the professional symphony's 22nd performance season on Saturday, September 27 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mattie Kelly Fine and Performing Arts Center on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College. The "Good as Gold" concert features guest pianist Janice Ingrid Fehlauer, the 2007 Wideman International Piano Competition Gold Medal Winner, in performance with the orchestra. Concert tickets are now on sale for $22.50 each from the box office, by phone at (850) 729-6000 or by web at www.mattiekellyartscenter.org.
Fehlauer will join the symphony in performance of Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 5 in Eb Major, Op. 73. Known as the "Emperor Concerto" due to its powerful themes, the composition is one of Beethoven's boldest, most innovative and heroic works. The NFSO concert will also feature the Brahms Symphony No. 2 in D major, regarded as his "pastoral" symphony for it genial, outgoing character.
Canadian pianist Fehlauer studied at the national Royal Conservatory of Music in both piano and violin and holds degrees in music from the University of British Columbia, where she studied with Jane Coop, and the University of North Texas, where she studied with Pamela Mia Paul. She was the 2006 winner of the University of North Texas Concerto Competition and in 2006 was voted Most Outstanding Graduate Piano Student by the faculty of UNT, the largest music school in North America. A pre-concert talk and a post-concert reception will be held in conjunction with the concert exclusively for season ticket patrons. Season packages offer a discount over single ticket prices and provide numerous exclusive benefits for season patrons for $120 for six concert events. Season packages are available now from the box office.
The expanded 2008-2009 performance season of the NFSO includes seven concerts and features beloved masterpieces, international guest artists from Japan, a Pops concert with Grammy-nominated vocalist and screen star Della Reese, collaborative performances with the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus and more. Among the highlights of the expanded season is a concert May 9, 2009 with the prestigious Tokyo Oratorio Society in conjunction with the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus and renowned guest soloists. Over two hundred instrumentalists and vocalists will join together to perform Haydn's beautiful oratorio "The Creation" in English for this event. The "NFSO Goes Pops" concert on March 14, 2009 features special guest star Della Reese in a fundraiser to benefit the symphony's year-round programs. Tickets for the Della Reese Pops Concert are now available for $100 for front row seats, which include a post-concert reception with Reese, and $45 for regular reserved seats. Reese tickets are sold separately from the season package.
Other upcoming Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra concerts for which single tickets or season packages are now available include a "Night at the Opera" on November 1 with arias, ensembles, choruses and symphonic works from the world of opera; a "Holiday Pops" concert on December 12; a "Symphonic Miniatures" chamber orchestra performance on January 30 which features a first ever collaboration with the NWF State College Dance program and a "Stars of Tomorrow" concert on February 20 with the winners of the 22nd Annual Concerto Competition sponsored by the NFSO Guild.
In addition to adding more concerts to its performance season, the NFSO has also expanded benefits Season Subscribers to include a new Subscriber membership card, pre-concert talks with conductor Jeffrey Rink and guest artists, a season opening reception, and more. In addition to expanded benefits for regular season subscribers, the NFSO has also added a new subscriber category - the Conductor's Circle that is open to the first 80 season subscribers who also make a tax-deductible gift of $250 or more to the NFSO when they purchase their season tickets. Conductors Circle members will receive all the benefits of the season subscriber plus an exclusive reserved parking section at the arts center for each NFSO concert and complimentary wine at all pre-concert talks. Season subscriptions, contributed income and corporate underwriting are the foundation of the orchestra's varied endeavors, including educational programs for area youth. For information on various levels of underwriting for the Symphony, please contact Carla Reinlie at the NWF State College Foundation at 729-6468.
Prior to joining the NFSO in July 2007, Maestro Rink served concurrently as the Music Director of Chorus pro Musica in Boston, Massachusetts and the Newton Symphony Orchestra, Director of Orchestral Activities at the Longy School of Music, where he conducted the Longy Chamber Orchestra, and was on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts in Boston. He was previously conductor of the New England Philharmonic for eight years in which he won four ASCAP awards for adventuresome programming and commitment to new music.
The talented professional musicians who perform with the NFSO come from across the greater panhandle region and many of the symphony's guest artists have an international reputation. The orchestra has performed continuously each season since 1987, providing cultural programs to thousands of area residents in its more than 20 year history.
The orchestra performs in residence at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, located on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College at 100 College Boulevard. The center is easily accessible via U.S. Highway 285, Highway 85 and the Mid-Bay Bridge.