Formed in 1985 from a merger of the Fort Lauderdale Symphony, which was established in 1949, and the Boca Raton Symphony, the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra thrived under the vigorous leadership of former Music Director James Judd. The dynamic Judd, a British-born conductor with a stellar international reputation, transformed the Florida Philharmonic into America's premier regional symphony orchestra, one that is known around the world. With Judd’s departure early in the 2000-2001 season, the Philharmonic is searching for a new music director.
In November of 2001 the Florida Philharmonic announced the appointment of internationally acclaimed conductor and violinist, Joseph Silverstein, as the orchestra’s Acting Music Director. Mr. Silverstein made his debut as Acting Music Director during the Philharmonic’s performances in January 2002 and will serve in this capacity through the 2002-2003 season.
The Philharmonic has achieved recognition generally reserved for more established organizations. The Orchestra's first commercial CD, a critically acclaimed all-Walton program, was released internationally on the prestigious Harmonia Mundi label in 1992. That was followed in May 1994 by a Harmonia Mundi CD release of Mahler's Symphony No. 1, which received worldwide acclaim. The CD was named "Recording of the Month" in STEREOPHILE, received the Gold Medal from France's "Diapason," and was awarded the "Toblacher Komponierhauschen" from the Gustav Mahler Society in Austria for "Best New Mahler Recording of the Year."
With a budget of $10 million, the Orchestra is one of South Florida's most acclaimed arts organizations. Under the leadership of Governing Council Chairperson Daniel R. Lewis, the Florida Philharmonic continues to receive widespread support from the South Florida business and civic communities. The Philharmonic views the tri-county market as a single metropolis in which the diversity of cultures and musical heritages presents opportunities that are unequaled by any other American orchestra.
The Philharmonic's offerings are as vast as the region it serves. Programs include a full season of classical concerts, covering the full range of masterpieces from the entire orchestral repertoire, ranging from Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Mendelssohn to Brahms, Wagner, Liszt and the modern masters Ginastera, Piston and Copland; the Matinee Series featuring familiar orchestra favorites; and the Peter Nero and Pops at the Philharmonic series showcasing popular orchestra music. The Philharmonic's Beethoven by the Beach summer music festival and its annual holiday presentations of Handel’s Messiah enjoy continuing success. The Orchestra is host to Neighborhood Concerts, a series of free concerts across South Florida, and each year the Philharmonic conducts extensive educational programs, serving more than 50,000 children annually, with the Music for Youth programs, created to enhance and extend the existing in-school programs.
Last Updated: October 16, 2002
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