FORT MYERS, Fla. (Feb. 5, 2024) – The Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee County’s only professional orchestra and the fourth oldest in the state, has been awarded a $3,000 grant from the Rotary Club of Fort Myers and a $2,500 grant from the Sanibel-Captiva Kiwanis Club to support the symphony’s Youth Orchestra and music education initiatives.

“We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support from these generous organizations,” said Amy Ginsburg, chief executive officer of the Southwest Florida Symphony. “These funds will allow us to continue educating and inspiring the next generation of musicians throughout Southwest Florida.”

The symphony provides a variety of educational and outreach opportunities for local youth, including professional music instruction, coaching, performance opportunities, scholarships and free concerts at schools throughout Lee County.

The Youth Orchestra is an advanced level orchestra conducted by Roland Forti. Select students in the Youth Orchestra may also be privately coached and participate in youth ensembles performing at various public events during the concert season.

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, 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,