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Siberian State Symphony Orchestra to perform at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall

By Staff | Jan 16, 2020

The 71st concert season of the Fort Myers Community Concert Association will bring the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra to Fort Myers this month.

The association puts on a five-concert series during the months of January, February and March. The next performance, which will feature the orchestra, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27.

Fort Myers is one of the stops on an eight- week U.S. tour.

“We are in a great position in Fort Myers because tours can start here and go to West Palm, go to the center of the state, Tampa, Jacksonville,” said Fort Myers Community Concert Association President Mary Lee Mann.

Tickets are $55 for orchestra seats, $35 for lower balcony seats and $25 for upper balcony seats.

Mann said they have reserved seats in the upper balcony that they are giving free to any student in Lee County schools, as well as teachers.

“We are holding them for the students. They will request them before the concert. We encourage teachers to bring their students. They get in free also,” she said, adding that they are trying to make the classical music available to everyone. “It’s so important to our heritage.”

Mann went on to say that the students seem to have a great time when they attend.

“Sometimes at intermission I have taken the elevator up to the upper balcony to see the students’ reaction. They are taking selfies with the stage in the background. They are having a wonderful time. It’s an opportunity many may not have had before, or may not again for some time,” she said.

The Siberian State Symphony Orchestra, she said, has a reputation of one of the best orchestras in Russia. The orchestra, which is from Krasnoyarsk, Russia, will play Weinberg: “Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes;” Mussorgsky: “Suite Pictures at an Exhibition” and Tchaikovsky: “Violin Concerto with violinist Pavel Milyukov.

The orchestra, founded in 1977, is conducted by Music Director Vladimir Lande, who also is the music director and conductor of the Washington Soloists Chamber Orchestra and the COSMIC Symphony Orchestra.

Mann said the not-for-profit association was started in 1949 by Barbara B. Mann.

“Her first concert was at the Edison Park Elementary School auditorium because it was the best auditorium in town,” Mann said, adding that the reason the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall exists was because they needed a place to hold world class concerts. “Frank Mann was able to accomplish it. The hall was built for community concerts.”

Concerts of various types, many stellar, have followed since.

“Last season we had two very high profile solo artists. The board made a conscious decision that we couldn’t top that right away, so our focus is on symphonies this year,” Mann said, adding that they have brought three symphonies to their season this year. “We have a great facility and wonderful audiences. All of the orchestras are eager to come to our series.”

The three remaining concerts this year include Teatro Lirico D’Europa performing Verdi’s “La Traviata” Monday, Feb. 3; Russian State Symphony Orchestra Feb. 10 and Russian National Ballet Monday, March 2.

Mann said she worked with her late mother-in-law Barbara B. Mann for 25 years before she took over the Fort Myers Community Concert Association president position in 2012.

“It was a great experience. We were probably the only mother-in-law, daughter-in-law team in existence. We had a great time together,” she said.

Mann continues to enjoy being involved for the thrill of being able to bring classical performances to the area.

“I would not have the opportunity to see, or hear, these performances if these community concerts didn’t bring them to Fort Myers,” she said. “They are irreplaceable. There is nothing that takes the place of live musical performances and these are all outstanding.”

Tickets for individual concerts may be purchased through the Barbara B. Mann box office on the Florida SouthWestern State College campus, or by calling (239) 481-4849.