Miami Sees New Attempt to Revive Florida Philharmonic

Classic Arts News   Miami Sees New Attempt to Revive Florida Philharmonic
Twenty-five members of the defunct Florida Philharmonic are reuniting to play a Mozart centennial concert, organized by Miami native and choral conductor Elaine Rinaldi, reports The Miami Herald.

The 84-member Florida Philharmonic, which had been slated to be a resident company at the new Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, which opens this fall, declared bankruptcy in 2003 after failing to raise $20 million needed to keep operating. The Philharmonic's assets were liquidated the following year.

This is the second attempt to found a replacement orchestra for the Florida Philharmonic. Thirteen members of the defunct ensemble founded the Broward County-based Renaissance Chamber Orchestra, which shut down in the fall of 2005 leaving musicians unpaid and audience members without refunds.

Rinaldi hopes that the newly created 36-member ensemble, called Orchestra Miami, will become a more permanent fixture. She told the paper she is hoping to find an ''angel donor'' to back the group.

Former Florida Philharmonic violinist Jerry Miller, who will work with Orchestra Miami as a personnel manager and musician, told the Herald, ''We had a great orchestra that needs to go back to work."

Orchestra Miami came about in April 2005, when Rinaldi met Miller and his former Florida Philharmonic colleagues at a Key West production of La traviata she was conducting.

Florida Philharmonic veterans who will play in the new ensemble include principal bassoonist Luciano Magnanini, principal clarinetist Richard Hancock and French horn player Tom Hadley, according to the paper. Orchestra Miami will play a series of concerts in areas of Miami-Dade County that where few classical performers venture, such as Hialeah and Westchester.

Orchestra Miami's debut concert, scheduled for September 20 at the University of Miami's Gusman Hall, will star soprano Eglise Guti_rrez as soloist. Rinaldi hired her for the Florida Grand Opera chorus when she arrived from Cuba in the 1990s, and told the Tribune, ''She's doing it as a favor to me."

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