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A Behind-The-Scenes Look At South Florida Symphony Orchestra’s 20th Season

Sponsored by South Florida Symphony Orchestra

If you’ve ever been to the symphony, chances are you’ve noted the detailed coordination that it takes to produce a show. There’s the ensemble of musicians playing multiple instruments, the maestro or maestra conducting the show and sometimes singers, dancers and other pieces of artwork complementing the music. 

Becoming a successful symphony is no easy feat, but the South Florida Symphony Orchestra has done just that. It is currently in its 20th season, and spans across South Florida with locations in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami and Key West. 

We decided to take a look at the moving parts of the symphony and its upcoming shows to take readers behind-the-scenes. Continue reading to get the inside scoop. 

The Maestra

Born and raised in Key West, Sebrina María Alfonso started the South Florida Symphony Orchestra in her hometown 20 years ago and continues to conduct the symphony today. She is one of the few maestras in the United States, as most conductors leading symphonies are male. 

Alfonso has a bachelors and master’s degree in music from Virginia Commonwealth University and doctoral studies with an emphasis in conducting from the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University. Watch her in action below: 

Video via YouTube/South Florida Symphony

The Music

Since the beginning, South Florida Symphony Orchestra has championed contemporary composers, while also choosing traditional pieces for its performances. During its 20th season the symphony will feature Grammy Award-winning music inspired by Hemingway; Mozart’s Symphony No. 35; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6, the “Pastoral”; a Flamenco performance; and a season finale featuring compositions from Ravel, Borenstein and Berlioz. Contemporary pieces using tunes from Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Oscar Hammerstein and Leonard Bernstein will also be a part of the 20th-anniversary series.

Musicians, singers and other performers in the symphony orchestra work year-round in preparation. Take a look at their daily lives in the videos from backstage below:

Video via YouTube/South Florida Symphony 

Video via YouTube/South Florida Symphony 

The Dancers

The Martha Graham Dance Company has been a leader in contemporary dance since 1926, and is currently partnering with South Florida Symphony Orchestra for the symphony’s 20th-anniversary celebration, performing Stravinsky’s “Rite of Spring,” and Copland’s Appalachian Spring, as well as Martha Graham’s original choreography. 

The company has its own style of dance, derived from its founder Martha Graham, crossing artistic boundaries and embracing different genres of art and dance. The style grew from Graham’s experimentation with the body’s movement of contraction and release. The video below takes a deeper look at the technique and Graham’s legacy.

Video via YouTube/Martha Graham Dance Company

To find out more information about South Florida Symphony Orchestra, to view the calendar of events for its 20th season or to purchase tickets, visit southfloridasymphony.org.