The South Florida Symphony Orchestra (SFSO) announced its 25th anniversary season earlier this year, but the biggest news was the symphony will make the New World Center its new Miami Beach home.

The New World Center, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Frank Gehry, is an architectural landmark in the heart of South Beach. Its state-of-the-art acoustics, cutting-edge multimedia equipment and dramatic views of the iconic Miami Beach Art Deco skyline will offer SFSO patrons an elevated musical experience and increased seating capacity, promised Jacqueline Lorber, the orchestra’s president, in a statement.

A perennial favorite at its birthplace in Key West, last year, SFSO was named a Partner in the Arts for The Parker in downtown Fort Lauderdale. SFSO performed to full houses during its inaugural season at the former Parker Playhouse, which had undergone a $30 million renovation in 2021.

Growing audiences in Miami necessitated a larger venue to accommodate patrons and funding for the move was provided by the Gerald L. Laskey Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation of Broward.  

“In recent years, the momentum in Miami has continued to build, establishing the foundation to enter our next stage of growth at the New World Center … with an enthusiastic patron base and full support,” said Lorber. “We are grateful for the generosity and foresight of Gerald Laskey.”  

SFSO’s celebratory 25th anniversary season kicks off in November and will feature classical masterworks:  

Askar Salimdjanov performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D major, along with Barber’s “First Essay for Orchestra” and Elgar’s iconic “Enigma Variations,” Nov. 9 and 10 at the Parker and the New World Center.  

The symphony and chorus celebrate the holidays with Handel’s “Messiah,” Dec. 3 and 4 at the Parker and Barry University. Soloists include bass Neil Nelson, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Newman, tenor Gerardo Ortega and soprano Kyaunnee Richardson.  

In January, the SFSO adds the Tennessee Williams Theater in Key West to the schedule, Jan. 24 – 28, with Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 9, great opera areas and the premiere of Gottsch’s “Ocklawaha.”  

The music romantic composers Berlioz, Brahms and Sibelius will be featured in February at the Parker and Tennessee Williams Theater, Feb. 15 and 18. Geneva Lewis and Gabriel Martins are the featured soloists for the Brahm Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor.  

In March, Maestra Alfonso will conduct an all-Dvořák program, including his Cello Concerto in B minor, featuring Zuill Bailey, and the famed Symphony No. 9 in E minor, “From the New World.” Performances are March 22 – 25 in Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Key West.  

The season concludes on April 26 at the Parker with Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor with soloist Svetlana Smolina and Bruckner’s Te Deum, once again showcasing the symphony chorus.

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