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Image of an artistically lit exterior of Hayes Hall at Artis—Naples


40 Years of Artistic Excellence



Artis—Naples celebrates Andrey Boreyko’s eighth and final season as music director. Glenn Basham retires, following nearly three decades as concertmaster of the Naples Philharmonic.


Artis—Naples perseveres through the COVID-19 pandemic, with new visual and performing arts programming announced every 8-10 weeks throughout the season as the organization responds to the ever-changing situation. Artis—Naples celebrates Kathleen van Bergen for her 10 years of service as CEO and President.


The Baker Museum expansion fully opens, completing the repair and 18,000-square-foot expansion project that began in 2017. Jim Cochran retires as director of the Naples Philharmonic Chorus and Naples Philharmonic Youth Chorus. Due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, all activities are suspended on March 12. The Baker Museum reopens on August 17 to Friends of Artis—Naples and community first responders, and September sees the return of more cultural offerings, including museum exhibitions and socially distanced Naples Philharmonic performances. Artis—Naples presents a variety of outdoor activities in the newly renovated Norris Garden, including live performances, simulcasts of select Naples Philharmonic programs and Naples International Film Festival screenings under the stars. The museum celebrates its 20th anniversary with the opening of the exhibition Dreaming Forms: Chihuly Then and Now.


Artis—Naples installs a new orchestra shell for the Hayes Hall stage, built by the Wenger Corporation. The Baker Museum exhibitions reopen in December after more than two years, featuring the exhibition 100 Iconic Works from the Permanent Collection. Jack Everly celebrates 10 years as principal pops conductor. The Naples International Film Festival is named one of MovieMaker magazine’s “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World.”


Artis—Naples announces the appointment of Emerson Millar as co-concertmaster of the Naples Philharmonic. Manhattan Construction is selected as the construction manager for the repair and expansion of The Baker Museum, and work begins on the project. The Naples International Film Festival celebrates 10 years in the Naples community.


New York-based Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism is engaged to create a Master Plan for the Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus. Artis—Naples acquires the Naples International Film Festival. After Hurricane Irma, damage to the facade of The Baker Museum results in a decision to focus the first project in the new master plan around the repair and expansion of The Baker Museum.


The Artis—Naples Board of Directors commits $40 million to the Future—Forward Campaign for Cultural Excellence. Artis—Naples receives the largest gift in its history, $15 million, from Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson. The Artis—Naples campus is named in their honor: the Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus. The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra makes its Florida debut, beginning a three-year residency with Artis—Naples. The Philharmonic League and the Friends of Art unite to form the Friends of Artis—Naples. The Baker Museum receives an outstanding art collection: The Paul and Charlotte Corddry Collection. The Naples Philharmonic Youth Jazz Orchestra is established under the direction of jazz orchestra trumpeter Dan Miller.


Louise Nevelson’s Dawn’s Forest returns from loan at Southwest Florida International Airport.


Artis—Naples welcomes Andrey Boreyko for his first season as music director.


The Philharmonic Center for the Arts becomes Artis—Naples, unifying visual and performing arts programming under one new identity. The museum becomes The Baker Museum, the orchestra becomes the Naples Philharmonic and The Philharmonic Center Chorale becomes the Naples Philharmonic Chorus. Andrey Boreyko is named music director. The Baker Museum receives the remarkable Mouse House art collection from Olga Hirshhorn. The Wang Chamber Music series is launched.


A series of “Thank You, Myra” Days celebrates the retirement of founder Myra Janco Daniels, launching what would become twice-annual Community Days. Jorge Mester concludes his tenure as music director of the Naples Philharmonic.


Myra Janco Daniels retires from the Philharmonic Center for the Arts. Kathleen van Bergen is appointed CEO and president. The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates its 30th anniversary. The Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra performs its inaugural concert on the All That Jazz series.


The Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art acquires Dawn’s Forest (1986) by Louise Nevelson, the iconic sculptor’s most complex environmental sculpture and her last large-scale work.


Jack Everly is named principal pops conductor of the Naples Philharmonic. The Patty & Jay Baker Naples Museum of Art presents its first Florida Contemporary exhibition, which would evolve into a noteworthy annual exhibition highlighting the work of prominent visual artists active in Florida.


The Sypert Salon Series of chamber music launches, and the Naples International Film Festival is inaugurated.


The Naples Museum of Art becomes the Patty & Jay Baker Museum of Art at the Philharmonic Center for the Arts, and the museum receives an unparalleled collection of modern Mexican art from Bryna Prensky, via a gift from Michael F. and Tonya L. Aranda. The orchestra celebrates 25 years with a grand fundraising gala featuring Kathleen Battle, Samuel Ramey, Bernadette Peters and Joel Grey.


The Naples Philharmonic begins its 25th anniversary season.


The Naples Philharmonic Youth Symphonia is established under the direction of Gregg Anderson.


Christopher Seaman concludes his tenure as music director of the Naples Philharmonic. American conductor Jorge Mester begins his tenure as music director of the Naples Philharmonic.


Fiesta at the Philharmonic, the orchestra’s second nationally broadcast concert, airs on PBS. Hayes Hall is renovated to include 215 additional seats and enhanced accessible facilities.


The orchestra is featured in nationally televised PBS program A Century of Broadway. The Naples Museum of Art acquires the Pollak Collection of Mexican Art.


The Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra is formed. Toni Stabile donates the 40,000-square-foot building to the south of Hayes Hall. The building is renamed the Toni Stabile Building, and the second floor is used for education and Lifelong Learning activities.


The orchestra accompanies Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli in concerts in Miami. The Naples Museum of Art opens on November 7 and acquires the Ahmet Ertegün Collection, a major collection of works by modern American masters from 1910 to 1955.


The Kohan Administration Building expands to three stories.


The Naples Philharmonic Youth Chorus is established under the direction of Ruth Catchen-Dunne.


The orchestra changes its name to the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and releases its first CD with Erich Kunzel on the Telarc label.


The Naples Philharmonic Brass Quintet earns second place at the Concours International de Quintettes de Cuivres in Narbonne, France.


The orchestra’s recording of The Manhattan Transfer Meets Tubby the Tuba, conducted by Timothy Russell, is nominated for a Grammy Award. Through generous gifts, the Philharmonic Center acquires major sculptures by Yaacov Agam, Ernest Trova and Milton Elting Hebald.


After joining the Naples Philharmonic as a guest concertmaster in 1992, Glenn Basham is appointed to the position on a full-time basis by Music Director Christopher Seaman.


Timothy Russell concludes his tenure as music director, releasing three CDs on the Summit Record label. Internationally renowned conductors Christopher Seaman and Erich Kunzel begin their tenures as the orchestra’s music director and principal pops conductor, respectively. The Philharmonic Center for the Arts presents its first season of visual arts exhibitions, which includes exhibitions dedicated to Dale Chihuly and Fernando Botero.


The Naples Philharmonic Brass Quintet wins first place at the prestigious Keystone International Brass Competition.


The 6,000-square-foot John E. Kohan Administration Building is completed. Magic Carpet concerts begin, and The Philharmonic Center Chorale is formed under the direction of James Cochran.


The orchestra changes its name to The Naples Philharmonic and begins the transition to a full-time core orchestra. The Canadian-made Casavant Frères pipe organ is installed in Hayes Hall through the efforts of Byron Koste and the developers of Pelican Bay.


The Philharmonic Center for the Arts announces its inaugural season, and over 6,000 tickets are sold in three days. Through the sponsorship of Representative Mary Ellen Hawkins, the Philharmonic Center receives $3.4 million from the state of Florida. At the grand opening on November 3, Timothy Russell conducts the Naples/Marco Philharmonic in a program that includes Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5.


During construction, the orchestra performs at Naples High School, the United Church of Marco Island and Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. Miami City Ballet founder Edward Villella announces that the Philharmonic Center will be the company’s west coast Florida home.


Gifts total more than $9.7 million. Construction begins on the orchestra’s permanent home. More than 400 dignitaries attend the groundbreaking ceremony, and construction begins on the orchestra’s permanent home.


Curtiss Frank pledges $2.5 million if the project is completed in 24 months after groundbreaking, and Frances Pew Hayes makes a $2 million donation. Westinghouse Communities deeds a 6.65-acre site in Pelican Bay for the Philharmonic Center for the Arts. The Philharmonic League, a support group for the orchestra, is founded with 25 members.


The orchestra board launches a fundraising campaign for a concert hall in Naples.


Timothy Russell is named music director, a position he will hold for nine years. Myra Janco Daniels is elected president of the board, and a fundraising campaign goal of $100,000 is quickly met. She and fellow board members discuss a permanent home for the orchestra.


The first full orchestra concert of the Naples/Marco Philharmonic is performed on April 15 at Barron Collier High School. Concerts on December 2 at Naples High School and December 3 at the United Church of Marco Island feature Walter Hendl, former conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Dallas Symphony Orchestra, as piano soloist. Myra Janco Daniels attends the concert on Marco Island with then-State Representative Mary Ellen Hawkins. Daniels meets with Fuenzalida and Cohan following this program and agrees to fundraise for the orchestra.


The Naples/Marco Philharmonic is founded as a chamber ensemble on Marco Island by Conductor Mizzette Fuenzalida and Executive Director Carol Cohan. In this first season, the ensemble presents four concerts.


Pictured above: The Kimberly K. Querrey and Louis A. Simpson Cultural Campus at night. Photo courtesy of The Scout Guide Naples.


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