Maestro Nir Kabaretti returns in spring 2021 to conduct farewell concerts

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Amy Ginsburg, executive director of the Southwest Florida Symphony, announced that Maestro Nir Kabaretti will return in spring 2021 to guest conduct concerts as a proper farewell befitting his six years as the orchestra’s music director.

“It’s more than just a concert was canceled,” Ginsburg said. “This was an abrupt end to his final year as music director, and the relationship between the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Kaberetti was cut short by a pandemic. That was not OK with anybody, so he figured out a way to adjust his schedule to make himself available to us so he could come back to say a proper goodbye.”

As part of the orchestra’s 60th season, Kabaretti will conduct the Pops 3 concerts in Charlotte and Lee counties on April 23 and 24, 2021, and the Masterworks 5 concert at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall on May 1, 2021. The farewell originally planned this spring to celebrate the end of Kaberetti’s service as the orchestra’s music director and primary conductor will take place when he returns to conduct these three concerts.

“I’m thrilled to still be performing in the area,” Kabaretti said. “This community means a lot to me. I have a lot of friends and a lot of people that I will stay in touch with much beyond my tenure as music director. We all felt that we cannot let the corona virus situation disturb our plans, so luckily we were able to reschedule two dates next year, and I’m looking forward to that. It will close that chapter and open a new chapter at the same time for the symphony and for myself.”

Kabaretti has a busy schedule lined up all over the world for the next few years, including a date to record in London as well as guest conductor stints in Italy at opera houses in Rome and Verona and a conducting commitment in Isreal. Amid these globe-trotting plans, he found a way to make time to return to Southwest Florida.

“I would have hated the possibility that I was not allowed to do a nice farewell properly,” Kabaretti said. “It’s a musical thing, but it’s much beyond that. We want to also ensure the future of the Southwest Florida Symphony and making the transition to the new music director the smoothest possible, so that’s also part of it.”

As well as celebrating its 60th anniversary, the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra will also be conducting a search for its new music director during the 2020-2021 season. Kabaretti spoke with hope about the future while musing upon the challenges the pandemic posed the symphonic community, where musicians and conductors often travel to work for multiple orchestras.

“As musicians, by nature for us, when we know we have a concert the process starts a few weeks before, and we practice untill we come to that performance,” Kabaretti said. “I’m really happy that we can think of this, a year from now, for this farewell. That’s also some kind of a relief and hope for a lot of us.”

Until the Southwest Florida Symphony is able to resume performances, Kabaretti said he encourages everyone to view the excerpts from past performances and other resources for music fans that are being posted on the symphony’s social media accounts.

“We are planning to return next season, a little later than usual to make sure the coast is clear for all of us, but a season will happen and a music director search will happen,” Ginsburg said. “And, we’ll have the added benfit of saying goodbye to Maestro Kabaretti. This is way more than rescheduling a concert — this is the end of a music director’s tenure.”

Tickets for the Symphony’s 60th season are available by calling the symphony box office at 239-418-1500 or visiting online at www.SWFLSO.org. Season subscriptions and single tickets to some individual concerts are currently on sale.

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