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Mattie Kelly Arts Center

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College Production:
Talley's Folly

Art Gallery:
Sacred Treasures: Icons

College Production:
The Christmas Carol

Special Event:
Film Club Screening: Joyeux Noel

NFSO Presents:
NFSO 31st Season Concert - "Holiday Pops"

College Production:
NWFSC Fine and Performing Arts Division Honors Recital

Guest Event:
Norman Brown's Joyous Christmas

Broadway Series:
Dirty Dancing

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Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO) Opens Season Sept. 25 with International Guest Violinist

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


9/16/2010 - The 24th season of the region's premiere professional orchestra, the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO), begins September 25 with the opening concert featuring international guest artist Tobias Steymans, concertmaster of the prestigious Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, Germany. The "German Masterpieces" concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in the main theater of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville.

According to NFSO Maestro Jeffrey Rink, the concert features "some of the most beautiful and enduring music ever written", including the Mendelssohn Third Symphony and Steymans in a performance of the Brahms Violin Concerto in D major, a work with tremendous technical demands for the soloist. "Steymans' interpretive skills are genius and his performance of the Brahms concerto will likely prove to be one of the seasons highlights," said Rink, who noted that Steymans is a master of the German Romantic style and is sure to deliver "an unforgettable performance."

The concert will be Steymans' only USA concerto appearance this season and is underwritten with the help of local developer Raimund Herden of Bluewater Bay and a consortium of patrons who love German music. He has appeared in guest roles world-wide and was previously concertmaster for the Zurich Opera. Steymans also preformed in concert with the NFSO in the 2008-9 season and Rink noted that he was "elighted to be able to bring back a guest artist of this caliber" to perform the NFSO' opening concert.

Tickets for the concert are on sale now by web at, by phone at 729-6000, or in-person from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office at 100 College Boulevard in Niceville. Tickets are $22.50 each for adults and $16 each for youth age 18 and younger or for active duty military with ID. Tickets are also available at the door starting at 6:00 p.m. the night of the concert for the same price as advance tickets. There is a four ticket limit for tickets purchased with the active duty military discount. Current Northwest Florida State College students may obtain one free ticket per student ID in-person from the box office on a space available basis. A five concert season subscription is available for $100, a 10% discount off the single ticket prices.

The remainder of the NFSO's 24th five-concert season also promises to be "simply stunning" according to Rink, who noted the October 30 concert features another world-class guest artist, Boston-based Maria Ferrante, for a full concert version of the Puccini operatic masterpiece "Madama Butterfly". Ferrante will head a stellar cast performing this beloved opera in Italian with English supertitles. "During my career in New England, concert opera performances of major operatic works were among the most critically acclaimed and popular with audiences. It was during this time that I worked with Maria Ferrante and found her to be one of the most engaging and moving vocal artists I've ever heard," Rink said. "The pathos Ferrante will bring to the role of Butterfly is something patrons will not want to miss."

Major underwriting for the production of Madame Butterfly is provided by the George and Alice Rich Charitable Foundation, Alexander A. Bove, Jr., trustee. Bove is a widely known trust and estate attorney who authored a financial column for the Boston Globe. Rink enjoyed a long collaboration with Bove for productions of operas in concert version presented under Rink's baton in Boston's Jordan Hall. "I am so pleased that this particular gift will help sponsor Puccini's masterpiece here in Northwest Florida," noted Rink.

The NFSO season also includes a "Baroque Christmas" concert on December 10 featuring the Northwest Florida Symphony Chours and orchestra performing a marvelous array of some of the finest seasonal music of the 18th century to ring in the holidays in grand style. The ever-popular "Stars of Tomorrow" concert on February 25, 2011 features winners of the prestigious regional Concerto Competition and a performance of the playful classic by Russian composer Prokofiev, "Peter and the Wolf", to delight and inspire children and adults of all ages. NFSO founding conductor emeritus, John Leatherwood, will serve as narrator. The season finale concert on April 30, entitled "Prayer, Beauty and Strength", features Beethoven's majestic Piano Concerto No. 3 with guest artist Anna Bulkina, 2009 Gold Medal winner of the Wideman Piano Competition, as well as a performance of the rarely heard Mozart motet Misericordias Domini and the immensely popular and sublime Fauré Requiem with the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorus.

Established in 1987, the NFSO is under the direction of Jeffrey Rink, who in addition to serving as the orchestra's music director and conductor, serves as the college's Mattie Kelly Distinguished Endowed Teaching Chair in Music and Conducting and has led orchestra performances from Mexico City to Tokyo. The NFSO is operated under the auspices of Northwest Florida State College relies on individual and corporate gifts to support its educational endeavors for youth and the year-round musical programs of the symphony.

The NFSO's extensive educational programs include a KATS (Kids at the Symphony) endeavor which brings area youth free of charge to each NFSO concert, NFSO musicians who visit area 5th grade classrooms to introduce young students to classical music, the long-standing NFSO tradition of performing free concerts for every 5th grade student in Okaloosa and Walton County, sponsorship with the NFSO Guild of the prestigious regional Concerto Competition for talented young musicians, support of the Northwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Junior Orchestra, and other endeavors. Support of the symphony through individual and corporate gifts is vital to these educational endeavors and to the year-round musical programs of the symphony. For information on corporate or charitable gifts to underwrite the NFSO, contact the Northwest Florida State College Foundation at 729-5357. For additional information see the symphony's website at