FORT MYERS, Fla. (June 6, 2023) – The Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee County’s only professional orchestra featuring musicians who have studied at the world’s most prestigious conservatories, is excited to announce tickets are on sale for the first Brave New Pops concert of its 63rd season on Saturday, Oct. 21 at 7:30 p.m. at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. “R.E.M. Explored” will feature selections from R.E.M.’s legendary playlist newly imagined for the orchestra, with R.E.M.’s Mike Mills on electric bass, piano and guitar performing alongside Grammy-nominated violinist Robert McDuffie.

This symphonic masterpiece perfectly blends classical and pop, featuring R.E.M.’s biggest hits from the 80s and 90s, including “Everybody Hurts,” “Supernatural Superstitions,” “Man on the Moon” and more. The incredible concert will conclude with Mills performing his eponymous “Concerto for Violin, Rock Band, and Orchestra.”

R.E.M. Explored: Robert McDuffie and Mike Mills

The Southwest Florida Symphony’s Brave New Pops series is sponsored by Ellie Fox and Seminole Casino Hotel.

The remainder of the symphony’s 63rd season will feature a diverse lineup of performances highlighting the best of classical, pop, jazz, rock and more led by Maestro Radu Paponiu and accompanied by world-renowned guest artists.

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 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,