FORT MYERS, Fla. (Jan. 4, 2023) – The Southwest Florida Symphony, the only professional orchestra in Lee County and fourth oldest orchestra in the state, is thrilled to announce Grammy Award winner and world-renowned violinist Gil Shaham will perform the first Masterworks concert of the season on Saturday, Jan. 28. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. Conducted by Maestro Radu Paponiu, the concert will feature pieces by Coleridge-Taylor, Tchaikovsky and Mozart.

            As part of the symphony’s signature series, patrons will also have the opportunity to attend an exclusive pre-concert lecture prior to the show led by Shaham and Paponiu, including a Q&A session, to enhance the concert experience and provide insights into the pieces being performed. The lecture begins at 6:30 p.m.

            Shaham has been recognized as one of the foremost violinists of our time for his flawless technique combined with an inimitable warmth and generosity of spirit. Named Musical America’s “Instrumentalist of the Year” and a recipient of the Avery Fisher Prize, he is sought after throughout the world for concerto appearances with leading orchestras and conductors. He also regularly gives recitals and appears with ensembles on the world’s greatest concert stages and at the most prestigious festivals.

Shaham, who is originally from Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, moved to Israel with his parents, where he began violin studies with Samuel Bernstein of the Rubin Academy of Music at the age of 7, receiving annual scholarships from the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. He received a scholarship to attend Juilliard and also studied at Columbia University. Shaham has earned numerous academic awards, including first prize in Israel’s Claremont Competition and an Avery Fisher Career Grant.

Shaham has regularly appeared with the Berlin Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, and San Francisco Symphony as well as multi-year residencies with the Orchestras of Montreal, Stuttgart and Singapore. Additionally, he has more than two dozen concerto and solo CDs to his name, earning multiple Grammys, a Grand Prix du Disque, Diapason d’Or, and Gramophone Editor’s Choice.

The Southwest Florida Symphony’s Masterworks series is sponsored by Uhler & Vertich Financial Planners, with this opening concert also being sponsored by the Southwest Florida Symphony Society.

To purchase tickets or learn more, visit

The Southwest Florida Symphony made its debut as a community orchestra on April 15, 1961, playing in schools and community centers, with a roster of only 24 volunteer musicians. Today, the symphony boasts a roster of 70 world-class musicians, and is Lee County’s only fully professional orchestra. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 62nd year continues the orchestra’s tradition of artistic excellence as newly appointed Music Director Maestro Radu Paponiu leads his inaugural season of spectacular performances. Maestro Paponiu, the sixth music director in the organization’s history, also serves as the associate conductor and youth orchestra director for the Naples Philharmonic in addition to guest-conducting with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Symphony, upcoming season performances and subscription and ticketing information, visit or call 239-418-1500.

Amy Ginsburg, Southwest Florida Symphony, 239-418-0996,
Angela Bell, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758,