GROVELAND — The Florida Lakes Symphony, a not-for-profit orchestra featuring 60 professional musicians from the Central Florida area, is following up its wildly successful inaugural season with another slate of performances beginning on Wednesday, Oct. 25, in Mount Dora and Friday, Oct. 27, in Minneola, both at 7:30 p.m.
The opening night gala for the symphony, “Slavic Spirit,” will feature a suite of arrangements and original compositions by Guy Saint-Clair, as well as Antonin Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” A piano virtuoso soloist, Saint-Clair holds doctorates from France, Germany and Switzerland and has performed with the London Symphony Orchestra.
Joining the Florida Lakes Symphony this year is Maestro Michael J. Garasi. An award-winning conductor, Garasi holds graduate degrees from Eastman School of Music and from Cleveland Institute of Music and has worked with Michael Tilson Thomas and studied with Pierre Boulez.
The second season for the Lake County-based symphony features 10 concerts, five each at Minneola City Hall, located at 800 U.S. Highway 27, and Mount Dora Community Center, located at 520 N. Baker St. A schedule of the concerts is as follows:
• Slavic Spirit — The season begins with the exciting array of Slavic dances and the “New World Symphony.”
o Oct. 25, at 7:30 p.m. in Mount Dora; Oct. 27 at 7:30 p.m. in Minneola
• Waltz A’Wassailling — Salute the New Year with the most famous waltzes in the world, such as “Blue Danuber.”
o Jan. 6 at 7:30 p.m. in Minneola; Jan. 7 at 3 p.m. in Mount Dora
• Monumental Masters — This concert is a dazzling collection of Baroque musical jewels featuring the 17-year-old, Russian-born violin virtuoso Yefim Romanov playing the romantic Mendelssohn Violin Concerto.
o Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m. in Minneola; Feb. 25 at 3 p.m. in Mount Dora
• Famous Flicks — Listen to movie music of classical composer John Williams as well as George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”
o March 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Minneola; March 29 at 7:30 p.m. in Mount Dora
• Poet & Passion — These featured musical pieces have a story to tell, including the world premiere of Pulitzer Prize nomination Saint-Clair's "Phoenix Rising" and the beloved "Sheherazade."
o April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Minneola; April 22 at 3 p.m. in Mount Dora
Concert tickets are $30 apiece in advance, $35 at the door or $125 for the entire five-concert season. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Audrey Sanders, Executive Director of the Florida Lakes Symphony, at (352) 429-4650.