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Center Stage: Community Concerts finishes season with a hit

By Staff | Apr 13, 2016

In Community Concerts 2016’s season of many highlights:

Russian National Ballet Theatre performing “Sleeping Beauty”

Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra

Teatro Lirico D’Europa performing “Aida”

Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra featuring 13-year-old cellist Danielle Akta

The awesome 2016’s final offering was the preeminent, award winning pianist Emanuel Ax performing an all-Beethoven program. Pianist Ax’s perfect technique proved once again, that not only has this amazing pianist incredible skill, he also has such refined artistry that Beethoven’s well known piano sonatas sound totally new. I have had the extreme good fortune to hear Emanuel Ax team up with another extraordinary artist, cellist Yo-Yo Ma when they performed some of the Beethoven and Brahms sonatas for cello and piano at Tanglewood. These performances were eventually recorded and became Grammy winners.

Ax opened the Community Concerts March 21 program with Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 8 in C Minor, Op. 13 (the Pathetique), followed by six variations on a theme in F major, Op. 34, taking us to intermission with Piano Sonata No. 16 in G Major, Op. 31 No.1.

The second half of the program opened with the sprightly Polonaise in C Major, Op. 89, and concluded with the most awe-inspiring performance of Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 the “Appassionata.” I personally get quite emotional on hearing this particular Sonata and have heard it played beautifully many times, but I have never heard it played so divinely. My tears flowed as the audience’s standing ovation lasted a full five minutes at least, until Ax returned, and played an encore for this enthralled, appreciative audience. This performance did indeed turn out to be the penultimate ending for the last Community Concert.

Now hear this! If you want to attend any, or all of next season’s Community Concerts programs; here is the schedule, price list and phone number for the 2017 Season. But, first something about the mission statement for Community Concerts.

The Fort Myers Community Concert Association is a not-for-profit organization chartered to cultivate in the citizens of Lee County an interest in music, to provide for its members an opportunity to hear music in the form of concerts, and to foster and encourage public appreciation of music and the teaching of music, history of music and music appreciation in the Lee County Schools. All performances are held at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall. The association prides itself in that prices have always been the best cultural buy in the area. Memberships can be afforded by all of the community including those on limited or fixed income. Students attend free and teachers pay a reduced fee.

How can you beat that?

Annual Subscriptions for all five concerts are:

Orchestra, rows A-O center:$165

Orchestra, all other rows: $155

Mezzanine, rows AA-DD: $165

All other rows Mezzanine: $155

Lower Balcony, JJ-RR: $85

Upper balcony SS-ZZ: $65

Join all of us who love this organization’s performances by phoning (239) 693-4849 and get an application, or if you want a particular concert and not the series, tickets will be available after Oct 8. Phone Barbara Mann box office (239) 489- 4171.

Now get your pencils and calendars out and mark the following on your 2017 calendar:

Jan.18: National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine

Feb.16: Teatro Lirica D’Europa Bizet’s Carmen

Feb. 27: Moscow Festival Ballet “Swan Lake”

March 5: Cantus (choral ensemble)

March 20- Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Well my friends there you have it, the whole enchilada of amazing concerts at rock bottom prices, so write or call soon and when you do, tell ’em Marsha sent you.