Naples Ballet with the Naples Philharmonic
Christophe Maraval, artistic director
Radu Paponiu, conductor
Tchaikovsky — The Nutcracker, Op. 71
Naples Ballet returns to Hayes Hall for a fantastical retelling of The Nutcracker as local dancers from Naples Ballet and professional soloists from around the world perform with the Naples Philharmonic to bring Tchaikovsky’s timeless tale to life. Join young heroine Clara as she and her Nutcracker Prince embark on a magical journey — beginning with a fierce battle between toy soldiers and a ferocious army of mice led by the Rat Queen, a trip through the mystical snow forest and, finally, their arrival in the Kingdom of Sweets. Meet the Sugarplum Fairy and many other enchanting citizens of the kingdom as they entertain their new guests with dances from around the world!
The Naples Ballet is a nonprofit organization dedicated to setting new standards for artistic excellence, providing the art of ballet as a component of education and promoting cultural enrichment and awareness of the art of dance within the Naples community.
The company aims to provide dancers of all ages with performance opportunities that meet expert standards of artistic development, to instill professional values and qualities through art education and to offer free professional dance instruction through scholarship funding while serving as a training ground for local dancers possibly seeking professional careers in dance or related fields.
Founded in 1982, the Naples Philharmonic performs over 140 orchestral and chamber concerts, as well as opera and ballet, education, community and special event concerts from September through June each year.
Meet the Musicians
Principal Pops Conductor Meet Jack
Associate Conductor Meet Radu
Radu Paponiu is the associate conductor of the Naples Philharmonic and director of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Since 2017, Radu has conducted the Naples Philharmonic in more than 100 different classical, education and pops programs. Radu was also recently appointed artistic and music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. As a guest conductor, Radu has appeared with the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra and Banatul Philharmonic of Timişoara in Romania, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, California Young Artists Symphony and National Repertory Orchestra. Radu has collaborated with notable soloists such as Yefim Bronfman, Midori, Vladimir Feltsman, Robert Levin, Nancy Zhou, Stella Chen and the Ébène Quartet. Radu has served as cover conductor with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and he has assisted conductors including Andrey Boreyko, Iván Fischer, Fabio Luisi, Stéphane Denève, Hans Graf, Donald Runnicles, Cristian Măcelaru, Bernard Labadie and Ludovic Morlot. Radu has served on the conducting faculty of the Juilliard Pre-College as well as conductor for the Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard in Shanghai, China, and at the Southeast Asia Music Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Radu completed his Master of Music in orchestral conducting at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Hugh Wolff. While in Boston, Radu was also conductor apprentice with the Handel and Haydn Society. In the summer of 2017, Radu was appointed assistant conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado, as well as conducting fellow for the Cabrillo Festival Workshop in California. Radu participated in the prestigious American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and School as the recipient of both the Albert Tipton Aspen Fellowship and the David A. Karetsky Memorial Fellowship. In Aspen, Radu furthered his studies under the guidance of Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, Leonard Slatkin, Patrick Summers and Federico Cortese.