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Image of the musicians of the Naples Philharmonic in a historical photo



1982: The Naples/Marco Philharmonic is founded as a chamber ensemble on Marco Island and performs four concerts in its first season.

1983: The first full orchestra concert is performed April 15 at Barron Collier High School with Walter Hendl, former conductor of the Chicago and Dallas symphonies, as piano soloist.

1984: Timothy Russell is named music director, a position he will hold for nine years. Myra Janco Daniels is elected president of the board; she and fellow board members discuss a permanent home for the orchestra.

1985: The orchestra board launches a fundraising campaign for a concert hall in Naples.

1986: Curtiss Frank pledges $2.5 million if the project is completed in 24 months after groundbreaking; a $2 million donation is received from Frances Pew Hayes. 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.

1987: Gifts total more than $9.7 million. More than 400 dignitaries attend the groundbreaking and construction begins on the orchestra's permanent home.

1988: The orchestra season in high schools and churches sells out. Miami City Ballet founder Edward Villella announces that the Philharmonic Center will be the MCB's West Coast Florida home.

1989: The Philharmonic Center for the Arts announces its inaugural season, and over 6,000 tickets are sold in three days. The grand opening November 3 features the Naples/Marco Philharmonic conducted by Timothy Russell in a program including Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5.

1990: The orchestra changes its name to Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, and a full-time core orchestra is hired. The Canadian-made Casavant Frères pipe organ is installed in Hayes Hall.

1991: 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.

1992: The Naples Philharmonic Brass Quintet wins first place at the prestigious Summit International Brass Competition.

1993: Internationally renowned conductors Erich Kunzel and Christopher Seaman are named as the orchestra's principal pops conductor and music director respectively; Keith Lockhart joins the orchestra as guest conductor. Three CDs are released on the Summit Records label.

1994: Glenn Basham is named concertmaster.

1995: The orchestra's recording of The Manhattan Transfer Meets Tubby the Tuba is nominated for a Grammy Award.

1996: The Naples Philharmonic Brass Quintet earns second place at the Concours International de Quintettes de Cuivres in Narbonne, France.

1997: The orchestra releases its first CD on the Telarc label.

1998: The Philharmonic Youth Chorale is established.

1999: The Kohan Administration Building expands to three stories. Clotilde Otranto is named resident conductor.

2000: The orchestra accompanies Luciano Pavarotti and Andrea Bocelli in concerts in Miami.

2001: The Philharmonic Youth Orchestra is formed.

2002: The orchestra is featured in a nationally televised PBS show A Century of Broadway.

2003: Fiesta at the Philharmonic, a second nationally broadcast concert, airs on PBS.

2004: Jorge Mester is named music director.

2007: The orchestra celebrates 25 years with a grand fundraising gala, featuring Kathleen Battle, Samuel Ramey, Bernadette Peters and Joel Grey.

2008: The Sypert Salon Series of chamber music launches.

2009: Jack Everly is named principal pops conductor.

2011: Myra Janco Daniels retires from the Philharmonic Center for the Arts; Kathleen van Bergen is appointed as CEO and President. The Naples Philharmonic celebrates its 30th anniversary.

2013: The Philharmonic Center for the Arts becomes Artis—Naples, unifying all visual and performing arts programming under one new identity. Andrey Boreyko is named music director.

2016: Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra makes their debut in Florida.

2018: Andrey Boreyko celebrates five years as music director, and Artis—Naples announces appointment of Emerson Millar as co-concertmaster of the Naples Philharmonic.

2020: The Baker Museum repair and expansion opens, and the museum celebrates its 20th anniversary.


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