FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 21, 2024) – The Southwest Florida Symphony, the only professional orchestra in Lee County and fourth oldest orchestra in the state, is thrilled to feature its concertmaster and rising star violinist Orin Laursen for the fourth Masterworks concert of the season on Saturday, March 16. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. Conducted by Maestro Radu Paponiu, “The Concertmaster Concerto” will feature a vibrant blend of contemporary and classical pieces.

The concert will open with the captivating “Restless Oceans” by Anna Clyne, a modern masterpiece that conjures the ebb and flow of the sea with its dynamic and evocative tones. Then, Laursen will bring to life Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Violin Concerto,” a piece renowned for its lyrical beauty and technical brilliance. Laursen’s masterful performance promises to be both powerful and poignant, capturing the depth of Beethoven’s genius. After a brief intermission, audiences will be immersed in the lush, romantic melodies of Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 2 in D major.”

As part of the symphony’s signature series, patrons can also attend an exclusive pre-concert lecture led by Laursen 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.

Laursen joined the Southwest Florida Symphony as concertmaster in 2022. He has provided exceptional artistic leadership and significantly elevated the sound of the orchestra in addition to serving as a musical liaison between the conductor and musicians.

Laursen has appeared on stages worldwide including Wigmore Hall in London, Jordan Hall and the Gardner Museum in Boston, Koerner Hall in Toronto, and the Kauffman Center in Kansas City, and has appeared as a soloist with the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Conservatory Orchestra and the Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (RUS).

As a chamber musician, he coached extensively under collaborative artists Martin Lovett, Robert Mann, David Waterman and Joel Krosnick, as well as members of the Belcea, Tokyo, Artis and Brentano Quartets. Laursen also continues to attend seminars at Prussia Cove in Cornwall, where he has mentored with violinist András Keller and cellist Steven Isserlis.

A strong advocate of contemporary music, Laursen has worked with such eminent living composers as Harrison Birtwistle, Terry Riley, Unsuk Chin, Christian Wolff, Kati Agócs, Jan Radzynski and John Zorn. Additionally, he has collaborated with artists including Trevor Pinnock, Robert McDonald, Paula Robison, Richard Lester, Misha Amory, Steven Dann, Hsin-Yun Huang, the Borromeo String Quartet and conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy.

The Southwest Florida Symphony’s Masterworks series is sponsored by Uhler Vertich White Advisors and the Thomas Kooyumjian Foundation.

To purchase tickets or learn more, visit swflso.org/tickets/.

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 swflso.org or call 239-418-1500.

Contacts:

Amy Ginsburg, Southwest Florida Symphony, 239-418-0996, aginsburg@swflso.org

Angela Bell, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758, Angela@gsma.pro