I don’t think that the Naples Philharmonic will be such a well-kept secret for much longer. This is my third and final season as assistant conductor with this fine orchestra, and I just want to take a moment to look at the team:
Music Director: Andrey Boreyko – has conducted basically every one of the best orchestras in the world. He is an incredible conductor, musician, and mentor.
President: Kathleen van Bergen – has worked with the top orchestras in the country and has brought in millions of dollars and majorly upped the prestige of Artis–Naples.
Baker Museum Director: Frank Verpoorten – The amazing permanent collection as well as the shows coming through this seemingly modest museum are simply unbelievable!
Just some of the guest artists over the past three seasons: McDuffie, Zilberstein, Kremer, Ax, Watts, Thibaudet, Skride, Koh, Grimaud, Gerstein, Perlman, Lang Lang, Fleming, Ehnes, Kahane, Parker, Grosvenor, Marsalis, Bell. Principal Pops conductor is legendary Jack Everly … The level of artistry among all these people is just CRAZY!
The offerings at Artis–Naples do not stop with classical music and a fine museum. There are broadway shows, lectures, bands, jazz, youth programs, educational concerts, community events, film screenings, opera… you name it. This place is absolutely the epicenter of arts and culture in Southwest Florida.
This has been my first “job” since finishing graduate studies in Conducting and Composition at the University of Michigan. As a young conductor, working here has been a fantastic experience. The musicians are good and receptive towards working with conductors, and supportive of young ones like myself. I conduct nearly 20 different programs per season, and cover 11 more (ten masterworks and new years). And I get to share the love of music with the next generation of musicians by conducting and directing the youth orchestra and youth chamber music program.
Add to that: it is never winter here, and just yesterday (we’re in the beginning of February, mind you) I got to enjoy playing a few hours of tennis outside - with some friends and orchestra colleagues - in the evening without fear of snow, sleet, or hail.
So spread the word, this place is for real.