SYMPHONY OF THE AMERICAS

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL -- The Symphony of the Americas will present the Rosemary Duffy Larson Matinee Series, an enticing  three concert sampler of the orchestra's programming that is the perfect introduction to classical music for young people and families. Afternoon performances are also convenient for senior citizens and others who are unable or prefer not to attend evening events. With a cornucopia of music ranging from opera and Broadway's greatest hits to choral masterpieces and the monumental piano concertos of Ludwig van Beethoven, the selections promise something for every taste.

Maestro James Brooks-Bruzzese  opens the series on Saturday, February 23 with Opera to Broadway, a panorama of some of the most beloved music from the worlds of opera and theater. Sopranos Courtenay Budd and Donna Balson, baritone Marcin Bronikowski and tenor Eduardo Aladren join Maestro Brooks-Bruzzese and the orchestra for selections from Don Giovanni, Rigoletto, Carmen, Tosca, The Sound of Music, South Pacific, Carousel and Phantom of the Opera. These distinguished artists each have sung on stages around the globe, traversing the worlds of opera and musical theater. Bronikowski lists such operatic capitals as London's Covent Garden, Milan's La Scala, Berlin's Deutsche Opera, Moscow's Bolshoi and the Hamburg, Frankfurt and Dresden Operas among his wide ranging stage appearances. Balson has sung leading Verdi and Puccini roles with Opera Australia and concertized throughout Europe. New York's Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and the Spoleto USA and Bard Music Festival are among the venues where Courtenay Budd's soprano voice has filled the hall with song. Aladren has become a familiar vocal presence throughout South Florida and Latin America. They will bring vocal life to musical evergreens replete with memorable tunes that are beloved by generations of music lovers.

On Sunday, March 24  the 150 members of the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida lift their voices in song. Under the direction of Gordon Roberts, the two year old chorus has sung widely in Southeastern Florida, toured to Denver, Colorado and has been invited to perform at Lincoln Center in June, 2013. A musical associate of the legendary Leonard Bernstein, Roberts brings wide experience as composer, arranger and conductor in music from the symphony, oratorio, opera and Broadway. Roberts will share the program as guest conductor with Maestro Brooks-Bruzzese. The Gay Men's Chorus will join the Symphony of the Americas in repertoire that ranges from the joyous Hallelujah Chorus from Beethoven's rarely heard oratorio Christ on the Mount of Olives to show tunes by Rodgers & Hart, Kander & Ebb, Jule Stein and Stephen Flaherty, cinema classics by Harold Arlen and Nacio Herb Brown and such rousing patriotic favorites as Battle Hymn of the Republic and America the Beautiful, encompassing the wide world of choral music.

The series concludes on Sunday, April 14 with 18 year old keyboard wunderkind Conrad Tao as soloist in Beethoven's Piano Concertos Nos. 1, 2, and3. In the history of keyboard music, the five piano concerti of Beethoven may be the most innovative and significant works ever written in that genre. The three earliest concertos are filled with graceful melodies as Beethoven followed the spirit of Mozart while beginning to assert his own creative voice. A triple threat, Conrad Tao has won plaudits as pianist, violinist and composer. Currently studying at the Juilliard School and Columbia University, Conrad Tao is already an international phenomenon, performing recitals and concerts with major orchestras around the globe and recording for EMI records. In 2011 the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars and the Department of Education named him a Presidential Scholar in the Arts. The same year he was chosen Gilmore Young Artist, a prestigious award that singles out the most promising young pianists of a new generation. Conrad Tao was awarded the Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2012. The matinee concert presents the rare opportunity to hear a rising star and master of tomorrow perform three monuments of the piano literature.

All concerts commence at 2 p.m. Specially priced three concert subscriptions and single tickets are available by calling 954-335-7002 or see www.SymphonyoftheAmericas.org. This series is an important community outreach, allowing  a new audience to discover the timeless masterpieces of the music literature.

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