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Palm Beach Symphony Season Announcement

November 30, 2020

The 47th season features 19 Palm Beach Symphony premieres and begins with a free televised holiday concert followed by virtual and select seating Masterworks Series concerts with one ticket price of $30 

Pinchas Zukerman and Vladimir Feltsman are among the acclaimed guest artists with Music Director Gerard Schwarz on the podium

West Palm Beach, Florida (November 30, 2020) – Following a record-breaking season cut short by closed concert halls, Palm Beach Symphony announces a bold return to performing with acclaimed Music Director Gerard Schwarz on the podium for the entirety of its upcoming 47th season.

The 19 Palm Beach Symphony premieres are not the only firsts in a season which will launch in December 2020 with a televised holiday concert on CBS 12 News. Masterworks Series concerts with guest violinist Pinchas Zukerman, guest pianists Vladimir Feltsman and Alexander Toradze and guest cellist Julian Schwarz will be presented virtually, in person or both and offered for one ticket price of $30. The season also includes an intimate concert with guest pianist Olga Kern.

“The concert halls shut down abruptly earlier this year which was one of the many things that isolated us from one another, so we are excited to announce a season that is undoubtedly our greatest artistic achievement to date in an accessible manner that allows the power of orchestral music to connect us once more,” said Palm Beach Symphony CEO David McClymont. “With an eye on community, CBS 12 has made it possible to offer a joyous holiday concert to everyone, and through underwriting by our generous patrons, every ticket is the best seat in the house so everyone can enjoy the concerts in the way in which they are most comfortable.”

The first American named Conductor of the Year by Musical America, Maestro Schwarz is also the Music Director of the All-Star Orchestra, Eastern Music Festival and Mozart Orchestra of New York. Additionally, he is the Conductor Laureate of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Conductor Emeritus of the Mostly Mozart Festival. His considerable discography of more than 350 albums showcases his collaborations with some of the world’s greatest orchestras and, in his nearly five decades as a respected classical musician and conductor, Maestro Schwarzhas received hundreds of honors and accolades including seven Emmy Awards, 14 GRAMMY nominations, eight ASCAP Awards and the Ditson Conductor’s Award from Columbia University. Also in South Florida, he is the Distinguished Professor of Music, Conducting and Orchestral Studies at University of Miami’s Frost School of Music and Music Director of the Frost Symphony Orchestra.

“As I prepared for my first full season on the podium, the pandemic threw concert schedules around the world into disarray,” said Maestro Schwarz. “I’ve collaborated with many of these acclaimed artists in the past and have been struck by their commitment to live performance and passion for orchestral music as they rearranged schedules and programs while we worked through all the uncertainties of returning to the concert hall. We cannot wait to bring this season to our audience.”

The four Masterworks Series concerts are currently scheduled to be performed at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in accordance with health and safety guidelines following CDC recommendations and guidance from local and state officials. At this time, it is anticipated that the first Masterwork concert in January will be livestreamed without an audience in the hall. The Symphony hopes to perform the remainder of the season as a mix of livestream and select seating.

“Rising to the challenges of performing during the pandemic, Palm Beach Symphony is once again elevating the performances and repertoire of this world-class orchestra while also deepening our commitment to community,” McClymont said. “Whether watching a livestream performance, attending in person or supporting our continued mission, we will come together in different ways to celebrate a season that was well worth the wait.”

Holiday Concert

Broadcast dates and times to be announced
CBS 12 News

Guest Artist:

Valentina Paolucci, violin 


Tchaikovsky: Overture from Nutcracker Suite No. 1, Op. 71A
Franz Xaver Gruber (arr. by Schwarz): Silent Night (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Tchaikovsky: March from Nutcracker Suite No. 1, Op. 71A
Traditional (arr. by Schwarz): Variations on Greensleeves (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Tchaikovsky: Trepak (Russian Dance) from NutcrackerSuite No. 1, Op. 71A
Pachelbel: Canon in D Major (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Tchaikovsky: Mirlitons from Nutcracker Suite No. 1, Op. 71A
John Henry Hopkins, Jr. (arr. by Schwarz): We Three Kings of Orient Are (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
J.S. Bach: Sleepers Awake from Cantata No. 140 (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Tchaikovsky: Waltz of the Flowers from Nutcracker Suite No. 1, Op. 71A 
Anderson: Sleigh Ride (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)

CBS News 12 presents the season opener as a holiday treat for viewers in a concert that features guest violinist Valentina Paolucci performing variations of Greensleeves in an arrangement by Schwarz. The program of this first televised performance by Palm Beach Symphony also features arrangements by Schwarz of the seasonal classics Silent Night and We Three Kings of Orient Are and beloved melodies from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Suite No. 1, Op. 71A which include the Overture, Russian Dance and Waltz of Flowers. Pachelbel’s Canon in D Major, arguably one of the most famous and recognizable pieces of classical music, is one of five Palm Beach Symphony premieres on the program. In a timely and uplifting message of hope, the Symphony performs Sleepers Awake from Bach’s Cantata No. 140 based on a popular Lutheran hymn written by a 16th century Lutheran pastor to provide spiritual inspiration to his community ravished by plague. The musical holiday journey ends on a merry note with Anderson’s Sleigh Ride.

 The holidays are a time for family and Palm Beach Symphony welcomes 19-year-old Paolucci playing the 1627 Andrea Amati Cremona copy violin which she received as the inaugural winner of the Symphony’s Lisa Bruna B-Major Award. She currently attends University of Miami on a full music scholarship in the Frost School of Music where Maestro Schwarz serves as a Distinguished Professor of Music. Paolucci has played in performance venues such as the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Royal Albert Hall in London, Konzerthaus Berlin, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Usher Hall in Scotland, Chicago Symphony Hall and Carnegie Hall. She has performed in music festivals including the BBC Proms, Tanglewood Music Festival, Young Euro Classic 2019, Edinburgh International Festival, Caramoor International Music Festival and Bowdoin International Music Festival. 

Masterworks Series #1

Sunday, January 24, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
Livestreamed from the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts

Guest Artist:

Pinchas Zukerman, violin


Beethoven: Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 61
Beethoven: Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 
Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 in A Major, Op.92

Pinchas Zukerman, one of today’s most versatile and sought-after musicians, joins Palm Beach Symphony in a tour de force program celebrating the 250th birthday of Beethoven as he performs Beethoven’s bright and lyrical violin concerto. The Symphony delivers two of the composer’s dramatic works inspired by the battlefield as it performs the Coriolan Overture conveying the bold courage of a warrior and the emotions of the women who love him along with the joyous Symphony No. 7 portraying an exuberant end to war.

A renowned virtuoso admired for the expressive lyricism of his playing, Zukerman received the National Medal of Arts from President Ronald Reagan and is a recipient of the Isaac Stern Award for Artistic Excellence in Classical Music. His extensive discography includes more than 100 titles, for which he won two GRAMMY Awards and 21 nominations. His celebrated career encompasses five decades and has generateda legion of fans. The Los Angeles Times lauded, “Zukerman again seemed the forever-young virtuoso: expressively resourceful, infectiously musical, technically impeccable, effortless. As usual, it was a joy to be in his musical company.”  

Masterworks Series #2

Sunday, March 21, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.
Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL
and Livestreamed

Guest Artist:

Vladimir Feltsman, piano


Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat Major, K. 595
Diamond: Rounds for String Orchestra (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Walker:  Lyric for Strings (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Stravinsky: Pulcinella Suite (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere) 

Guest pianist Vladimir Feltsman displays his acclaimed virtuosity as he performs Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 27, which the composer performed himself in the last year of his life brilliantly capturing the joys and complexities of his life and underscoring his musical genius. Palm Beach Symphony adds three captivating works by 20th century composers to its repertoire: David Diamond’s most popular work, the catchy and carefree Rounds for String Orchestra; George Walker’s Lyricfor Strings, a mesmerizing exploration of the extent to which instruments can mirror our emotions; and Igor Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite,an early foray into the neoclassic style in which he would produce a period of masterpieces.

Feltsman is one of the most versatile musicians of our time whose vast repertoire encompasses music from the Baroque era to the 21st century. Highlights of recent seasons were concerts in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Montevideo and Mexico City, as well as at the Aspen, Ravinia and Verbier Festivals. His extensive discography of more than 60 recordings has been released on the Melodiya, Sony Classical, Musical Heritage and Nimbus labels. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported, “Feltsman plays a piano as though he is speaking through it. And he has a lot to say…”

Masterworks Series #3

Monday, April 19, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL
and Livestreamed

Guest Artist:

Julian Schwarz, cello


Saint-Saëns: Cello Concerto No.1, in A Minor, Op. 33  (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Dvořák: Silent Woods, B.182  (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Still: Darker America (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 11 (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)

Acclaimed for his powerful tone, effortless virtuosity and extraordinarily large color palate, guest cellist Julian Schwarz reunites with his father on the podium to perform two of the program’s four Palm Beach Symphony premieres. He performs Saint-Saëns’ Cello Concerto No. 1, a work which the Hartford Courant noted of a previous concert by Schwarz, is “filled with tricky figuration…Schwarz heard beyond the virtuosic elements. Warmth and a variety of colors emerged in his lyrical playing.”  He also treats the audience to the melodiousand tranquil respite of Dvořák: Silent Woods for cello and orchestra. Palm Beach Symphony presents two early works that foreshadowed their composers’ future greatness: William Grant Still’s jazz and blues influenced expression of the Black experience Darker America and Mendelssohn’s fluid and ultimately fiery Symphony No. 1.

Since being awarded first prize at the inaugural Schoenfeld International String Competition in 2013, Schwarz has led an active career as a soloist performing in the U.S.  and abroad. Performing as a duo with pianist Marika Bournaki, he was awarded first prize at the inaugural Boulder International String Competition’s “The Art of Duo,” and the pair subsequently embarked on an extensive 10-recital tour of China. Schwarz is a founding member of the New York-based Frisson Ensemble and the Mile-End Trio.  An ardent supporter of new music, he has premiered concertos by Richard Danielpour, Samuel Jones and Lowell Liebermann and recital works by Paul Frucht, Scott Ordway, Jonathan Cziner, Gavin Fraser, Alex Weiser and Ofer Ben-Amots.

Masterworks Series #4

Saturday, May 22 at 7:30p.m.
Kravis Center for the Performing Arts, 701 Okeechobee Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL
and Livestreamed

Guest Artist:

Alexander Toradze, piano


Ravel: Piano Concerto in G Major (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Ravel: Ma Mère l’Oye (Mother Goose) Suite (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Brahms: Serenade No. 1 in D Major, Op. 11

The season comes to a happy conclusion as guest pianist Alexander Toradze performs Ravel’s lighthearted and sparkling Piano Concerto in G Major with its nod to American jazz. In the second Palm Beach Symphony premiere of Ravel on the evening’s program, the Symphony performs Ma Mère l’Oye, or the Mother Goose Suite, which like the fairy tales it celebrates, enchants listeners with a sense of wonder. Brahms’ first orchestral work, Serenade No. 1 in D Major, allows the Symphony to shine in a fitting culmination to a landmark season.

A masterful virtuoso in the grand Romantic tradition, Toradze has enriched the Great Russian pianistic heritage with his own unorthodox interpretative conceptions, deeply poetic lyricism and intensely emotional excitement. He has recorded all five Prokofiev concertos and Scriabin’s Prometheus: The Poem of Fire with Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra as well as recital albums of the works of Mussorgsky, Stravinsky, Ravel and Prokofiev. Born in Tbilisi, Georgia, Toradze moved permanently to the United States and, in 1991, was appointed as the Martin Endowed Professor of Piano at Indiana University in South Bend, where he has created the Toradze Piano Studio, a worldwide touring ensemble that has performed in the U.S., Italy, Germany, Portugal and France.

Additional Concert

Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 7:30 p.m.
The Society of the Four Arts, 100 Four Arts Plaza, Palm Beach, FL
Invitation Only

Guest Artist:

Olga Kern,piano


Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35 (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Strauss (arr. Gerard Schwarz): Sextet from Capriccio (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Irving Fine: Serious Song; A Lament for String Orchestra (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)
Dvořák: Serenade for Strings in E Major, Op. 22 (Palm Beach Symphony Premiere)

In a concert that is not part of the Symphony's Masterworks Series at the Kravis Center, Maestro Schwarz leads the orchestra in an intimate performance featuring the celebrated pianist Olga Kern atThe Society of the Four Arts. In a program of four new additions to the Symphony’s repertoire that revels in exciting discoveries by musical greats, Kern performs Shostakovich’s first piano concerto, a technically demanding, humorous work the composer originally created to perform himself. An arrangement for full strings by Maestro Schwarz of Richard Strauss’ Sextet from Capriccio captures the genius of Straussas he set the scene of his final opera. The program concludes with Irving Fine’s Serious Song; A Lament for String Orchestra, with which he firmly takes his place alongside his Boston School contemporaries Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein, and Dvořák’s Serenade for Strings, an early work that delightfully foreshadows his extraordinary compositional skills. Seating for this early-February concert is limited and offered by invitation only. 

First prize winner of the Rachmaninoff International Piano Competition at age 17, Kern first made her mark in the United States with her historic Gold Medal win at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition as the first woman to do soin more than 30 years. In recent seasons, she has performed with the Moscow Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Pacific Symphony and was also a featured soloist for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra during its 2018-19 tour. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, “Russian-born pianist Olga Kern is a phenomenon; her combination of technique, inspired interpretation and glamorous charisma wins over audiences and critics alike.”

All dates, times, programs, artists, venues and ticket prices are subject to change without notice.

Virtual passes and in-person tickets to individual concerts in the Masterworks series are $30 with four-concert subscriptions available for $100. Tickets are available online at www.palmbeachsymphony.org and by phone at (561) 281-0145.


Palm Beach Symphony is South Florida’s premier orchestra known for its diverse repertoire and commitment to community. Founded in 1974, this 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization adheres to a mission of engaging, educating, and entertaining the greater community of the Palm Beaches through live performances of inspiring orchestral music. The orchestra is celebrated for delivering spirited performances by first-rate musicians and distinguished guest artists. Recognized by The Cultural Council for Palm BeachCounty with a 2020 Muse Award for Outstanding Community Engagement, Palm Beach Symphony continues to expand its education and community outreach programs with children’s concerts, student coaching sessions and master classes, instrument donations and free public concerts that have reached more than 50,000 students in the past five years.  For more information, visit www.palmbeachsymphony.org.

Media Contact:
Savannah Whaley
Pierson Grant Public Relations
954.776.1999 ext. 225

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