A&E Music: Summer Concerts Serve up Cool Classics

Maestro James Brooks-Bruzzese conducts the Symphony of the Americas Summerfest orchestra during the 2017 festival. Credit: Symphony of the Americas

The mercury continues to rise this summer in South Florida, but the regions concert halls offer an air conditioned refuge, especially for classical music lovers. Several local musical organizations are presenting free or inexpensive classical music concerts this month in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade Counties:

New Directions Chamber Winds

New Directions Chamber Winds presents its summer concert, Classical Treasures,” on Saturday, July 13 at 4 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church, 1955 E. Oakland Park Blvd. in Fort Lauderdale. The ensemble, which includes LGBT and both professional and amateur musicians, performs semiannual concerts in Wilton Manors and Oakland Park.

We are particularly eclectic in our programming,” conductor Juan Mansilla told SFGN last winter. We seek out works that are very unique and particular, yet accessible and relatable to the audience. And then, with each of our programs, we try to create a compelling narrative, so its not just a string of random musical pieces.

For this performance, Mansilla has selected works by Edvard Grieg, Maurice Ravel and Antonin Dvorak. Amanda Moskowitz will be the featured soloist in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts Horn Quintet in E-flat, transcribed for wind instruments.

A reception will follow the concert. The concert is free, but a $20 donation is requested at the door. For more information, go to Evensi.us.

Symphony of the Americas Summerfest

Symphony of the Americas presents its annual Summerfest concert series, July 12 – Aug. 9 at venues in Broward and Palm Beach Counties.

Summerfest traditionally features musicians and soloists from acclaimed orchestras throughout Europe, including Orchestra Sinfonica di Roma, Opera Orchestra of Bulgaria, Mission Symphony Orchestra of Switzerland and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande performing several styles of classical and popular music for strings, all joined in a cultural exchange by principal musicians from the Symphony of the Americas.

Maestro James Brooks-Bruzzese has selected a program of works by Hubert Parry, Antonio Vivaldi, Ludwig von Beethoven, Antonin Dvorak and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The Summerfest orchestra will also premiere a commissioned composition by Italian composer-in-residence Lorenzo Turchi-Floris. 

On Friday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m., the Broward Center will host the Summerfest orchestra in the Amaturo Theater. Tickets start at $20. For a full festival schedule and ticket information, go to SymphonyOfTheAmericas.org.

Miami Music Festival

Richard Wagners intense German operas are anything but light classics,” but his soaring melodies and fancifu stories provide a welcome distraction. On Friday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m., Miami Music Festivals Wagner Institute makes its debut in the Arsht Centers Ziff Ballet Opera House with a full performance of Wagner’s “The Flying Dutchman.

Inspired by a troubled sea voyage, “The Flying Dutchman is the first of Wagner’s “romantic operas.” Set off the shores of Norway, Captain Daland and his crew come across a ghost ship that is captained by the Dutchman —condemned for all eternity for blasphemy. If the Dutchman can find a faithful wife, he will be saved. Dalands daughter Senta agrees to the arrangement, but a past suitor threatens the Dutchman’s salvation. 

Tickets start at $29 at ArshtCenter.org. Miami Music Festival also includes dozens of other musical events across the city, many free. For a complete schedule and ticket information, go to MiamiMusicFestival.com.