FORT MYERS, Fla. (June 26, 2023) – The Southwest Florida Symphony, the only professional orchestra in Lee County and fourth oldest orchestra in the state, has announced tickets are on sale for “Cinema with the Symphony,” its summer series of music-themed movie screenings. Featuring an array of award-winning musical dramas, the series showings will take place at the symphony’s Artistic & Operations Center at Bell Tower in Fort Myers. All film screenings will begin at 6:30 p.m. and include an intermission. Each event will feature a pre-screening guest speaker at 6 p.m., as well as a meetup group opportunity to socialize before or after the show.
Tickets are $20. Popcorn, wine, soft drinks and movie style snacks will be available for a suggested donation. Proceeds from these fundraising events will be used to support the symphony’s programming and educational initiatives. At all showings, attendees will receive a discount code that can be used toward the purchase of concert tickets during the symphony’s 2023-24 season.
To reserve tickets, visit swflso.org or call 239-418-1500.
Featured films include:
- “Tár” – Set in the international world of Western classical music, the film centers on Lydia Tár, widely considered one of the greatest living composer-conductors and the very first female director of a major German orchestra. Acclaimed the best film of the year in 2022 by the New York Film Critics Circle, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the London Film Critics’ Circle as well as the National Society of Film Critics, the Academy Award winning film by director-writer-producer Todd Field portrays a psychologic fictional-drama starring Cate Blanchett as the iconic conductor and composer. The film examines the changing nature of power, its impact and durability in our modern world as the story follows the renowned conductor whose incredibly accomplished life comes crashing down around her after a series of scandals come to surface. Pre-screening presentation will be provided by Rachel Cox, one of the Southwest Florida Symphony’s experienced violinists and violists. The July movie screening event will be sponsored by Nice Guys Pizza.
- “Green Book” – Academy Award nominee Viggo Mortensen and Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali star in Green Book, a film inspired by a true friendship that transcended race, class, and the 1962 Mason-Dixon line. When Tony Lip (Mortensen), a bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx, is hired to drive Dr. Don Shirley (Ali), a world-class Black pianist, on a concert tour from Manhattan to the Deep South, they must rely on “The Green Book” to guide them to the few establishments that were then safe for African-Americans. Confronted with racism, danger as well as unexpected humanity and humor—they are forced to set aside differences to survive and thrive on the journey of a lifetime. Pre-screening presentation will be provided by Orin Laursen, the Southwest Florida Symphony’s concertmaster.
- – Maggie Smith shines as a once-famous diva who creates quite a stir when she arrives at a home for retired opera singers, one of whom is her ex-husband. The star-studded cast includes Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Michael Gambon. The British comedy-drama film is based on the play by Ronald Harwood and was actor Dustin Hoffman’s directional debut. Pre-screening presentation will be provided by Maestro Radu Paponiu, the Southwest Florida Symphony’s music director, the Naples Philharmonic associate conductor and the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra director.
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 Music Director Maestro Radu 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.