FORT MYERS, Fla. (Sept. 19, 2023) – The Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee County’s only professional orchestra and fourth oldest in the state, was recently awarded a $59,768 grant from the Florida Department of State’s Division of Arts & Culture. The funds will support professional musicians’ wages during the upcoming season for the symphony’s roster of 70 professional musicians who have studied at the world’s most prestigious conservatories.

“We truly appreciate this generous grant from the Florida Division of Arts and Culture. We’re confident this grant will help us continue to attract the highest caliber musicians to our orchestra, many of whom are Florida residents,” said Amy Ginsburg, executive director of the Southwest Florida Symphony. “We share the division’s passion for promoting arts and culture as essential to quality of life for all Floridians and building a vibrant, creative community. Without this support, professional artists and musicians wouldn’t be able to work here and enhance the quality of life we enjoy.”

The general program support grant was awarded from the Florida Department of State’s Division of Arts & Culture to provide funding for Florida public and non-profit arts and cultural organizations, including museums, local arts organizations, state service organizations, and organizations that have cultural program activities in any of the art and cultural disciplines.

Funds from the grant are allocated by the State of Florida to meet the required cost share or match for federal funding from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) State Partnership Award and as such are considered NEA subawards.

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 professional musicians and is Lee County’s only fully professional orchestra and fourth oldest in the state. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 63rd year continues the orchestra’s tradition of artistic excellence and innovation as Music Director Maestro Radu Paponiu leads another 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,