In the News
Southwest Florida theaters, arts groups are hurting. Some might not make it.
March 25, 2020
FORT MYERS News-Press — Theater seats are empty. Stage lights are dark. Everything’s closed. Now many Southwest Florida arts groups are facing the same heart-breaking possibility: If the coronavirus continues to rage, some of them might never open again.
Other arts groups are in a better position, financially. At least for now. Punta Gorda Symphony, for example, had already performed its last concert of the season on March 8 — about a week before most arts groups started going dark. Now the orchestra is processing renewals for its just announced 2020-21 season.
Punta Gorda Symphony Announces 2020-2021 Season
March 17, 2020
PUNTA GORDA / Sun Newspapers — The Punta Gorda Symphony is pleased to announce its most compelling season programming yet. The 2020-2021 Season will feature more internationally recognized guest artists, familiar favorites such as Berlioz’s celebrated Symphonie Fantastique, and two add-on solo piano recitals that are certain to be “rockstar” experiences.
Punta Gorda Symphony Closes Season in Style
March 12, 2020
PUNTA GORDA / Sun Newspapers — The Punta Gorda Symphony’s recent season finale provided a virtuoso classical repertoire, from a stunning Dvorak symphony, to a masterful performance by world renowned pianist Jeffrey Biegel, to a resounding, festive salute to the Bolshevik Revolution.
The audience at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda was long and loud in applauding the orchestra’s symphonic diversification… (read more)
Guitar Virtuoso Celil Refik Kaya Performs with the Punta Gorda Symphony
February 6, 2020
WGCU / NPR News — The Punta Gorda Symphony’s classical concert series continues with a performance this Sunday evening, Feb. 9, that will feature award-winning classical guitarist and composer Celil Refik Kaya. He’ll be the concert’s featured solo artist performing Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco’s Guitar Concerto No. 1. Celil Refik Kaya is a celebrated guitar virtuoso whose concert debut came at the age of six. He’s won international guitar competitions in Bulgaria, Greece, Austria, Turkey, and throughout the U.S. Ahead of his upcoming performance, we sit down with Celil Refik Kaya for a conversation about the concerto and about his life journey through music beginning with his early upbringing in Istanbul.
Listen to the full-interview here.
Punta Gorda Symphony Leaves Them Cheering
February 6, 2020
PUNTA GORDA / Sun Newspapers — Standing ovations have become somewhat of a regular occurrence during Sunday performances of the Punta Gorda Symphony at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda. But two acclamations Jan. 26 may have been the longest and loudest in a long time. One was for international award-· winning pianist William Wolfram’s performance with the orchestra of Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major.” The other was the orchestra’s 45-minute rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 5 in E minor, Op. 64,” involving every instrument in the 80-piece orchestra, under the baton of maestro Raffaele Ponti… (read more)
Drawing a Standing Ovation
January 17, 2020
PUNTA GORDA / Sun Newspapers — If violins can speak, David Kim’s violin spoke volumes to a Punta Gorda Symphony audience Sunday at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda. Kim, a world renowned violinist and concertmaster for the Philadelphia Orchestra, played Felix Mendelssohn’s lyrical and flowing “Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64,” one of the most widely performed violin concerti in the world. He played with an elegance and style under maestro Raffaele Ponti… (read more)
Violinist David Kim Performs Mendelssohn Violin Concerto with Punta Gorda Symphony
January 9, 2020
WGCU / NPR NEWS — Sunday evening will mark the Punta Gorda Symphony’s first performance of the new year with a program featuring Felix Mendelssohn’s famous Violin Concerto in E minor performed by guest soloist and concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra David Kim. We’ll talk with Kim about his life in music from his violin studies that began at the age of three to becoming the first Korean-American concertmaster of a world class orchestra. (listen online)
Punta Gorda Symphony Soars Into the Season
December 27, 2019
PUNTA GORDA / Sun Newspapers — The Punta Gorda Symphony performed a combined five lively hours of holiday pops music to multiple standing ovations Dec 15… It was a kaleidoscopic array of symphonic salutes to the season… (read more)
Maestro Ponti on radio with WGCU’s Mike Kiniri
December 13, 2019
THREE SONG STORIES / WGCU radio — Maestro Raffaele Ponti was featured on Three Song Stories, a podcast hosted by WGCU Public Media. Tune in to Episode 92 to discover more about PGSymphony’s music director and conductor. (listen online)
Punta Gorda Symphony Takes Flight With First Concert of Season
November 12, 2019
PUNTA GORDA / Sun Newspapers — The newly branded Punta Gorda Symphony made its debut Sunday evening at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda. It was in similar fashion as the former Charlotte Symphony Orchestra during its final concert in October – with long, standing ovations from an appreciative audience. The symphony’s new name was announced last month… (read more)
Your Brain, Like an Orchestra, Can be Tuned
November 3, 2019
PUNTA GORDA / Sun Newspapers — Picture your brain as a symphony orchestra, where all the different sections must communicate with each other to play in unison, or there’ going to be something wrong with the rhythm. The maestro fixes the problem by training and tuning the orchestra. Likewise, a neurologist trained in process of neurofeedback can “map” the brain and tune the neurons — its “musicians” in its five sections — to work together for optimal brain function… (read more)
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Bids Adieu, Rebranded Punta Gorda Symphony
October 28, 2019
PUNTA GORDA / Sun Newspapers — After 16 years, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra went out in style Sunday before standing, cheering afternoon and evening audiences at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda. It was the orchestra’s final concerts under the CSO brand, as it has been renamed the Punta Gorda Symphony. Its farewell vehicle Sunday was “John Williams & Friends,” a nostalgic symphonic venture through themes of classic Hollywood movies, most of them arranged by Williams — scores that led to his more than 50 Academy Award nominations, the most in history…(read more)
Charlotte Symphony Now Called Punta Gorda Symphony, Plays Last Show Sunday Under Old Name
October 24, 2019
FORT MYERS / News-Press — They’d been talking about changing the name for years. Finally, Charlotte Symphony Orchestra announced the big news last week. After two shows this Sunday, the Charlotte County orchestra will officially adopt a brand-new name: Punta Gorda Symphony. The move, leaders say, will help brand the professional orchestra and prevent confusion between the Punta Gorda orchestra and another one in Charlotte, N.C., called Charlotte Symphony Orchestra… (read more)
Welcome, Punta Gorda Symphony
October 17, 2019
PUNTA GORDA / Sun Newspapers — The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra faded into history at midnight on Tuesday. Today, it is now the Punta Gorda Symphony. The rebranding was announced yesterday to a standing room only champagne reception for orchestra patrons and supporters at F.M. Don’s Restaurant in Punta Gorda… (read more)
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Changes Its Name to Punta Gorda Symphony
October 16, 2019
PRESS RELEASE — In a private reception on October 15, 2019 for press, community partners, and select patrons, the Board of Directors of Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Inc. of Florida announced that it is changing the name of the organization to Punta Gorda Symphony, Inc. The change has been in development for some time now… (read more)
Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Announces New Administrative Staff
August 14, 2019
In May 2019, the Board of Directors hired Craig Badinger as Executive Director and made additional staffing changes… (read more)