Southwest Florida Symphony Podcast

Meet Your Podcasters


Robert Van Winkle may be a familiar face to some residents in Southwest Florida. He retired in 2017 as the Chief Meteorologist at NBC-2 in Fort Myers after a 31-year career on television. Classical music has always been a passion of Robert’s and he became a dedicated fan of the music after attending his first Young Person’s Concert in 5th Grade. Robert is a U.S. Navy Veteran and served onboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Nimitz as a meteorologist. Since retiring from broadcasting, he has worked as a Real Estate Agent, School Teacher, Painter, Tour Guide, Customer Service Representative, and even a Naturalist on whale-watching tour boats in Alaska. Now serving as Community Outreach Ambassador for the Symphony, Robert has found the ‘perfect job’.


Radu Paponiu is the Artistic and Music Director of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, Associate Conductor of the Naples Philharmonic, and Music 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. As a guest conductor, Radu has appeared with the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra, Banatul Philharmonic, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, California Young Artists Symphony, and National Repertory Orchestra. 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 the Southeast Asia Music Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra



with Radu Paponiu, Robert Van Winkle

Get to know Radu and Robert as they talk about their backgrounds and their expectations for the upcoming season!

Friday | November 4, 2022

Symphony Admin Office


with Radu Paponiu, Robert Van Winkle, Orin Laursen

Meet the new concertmaster!

Friday | November 25, 2022

Symphony Admin Office


with Radu Paponiu, Robert Van Winkle

Catch up with Robert and Radu and get a sneak peak of pieces that will be showcased in the first Masterworks on the season coming up on Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m.
Grammy Award winner and world-renowned violinist Gil Shaham will perform with the Southwest Florida Symphony at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers
The first Masterworks concert of the season will feature popular pieces by Coleridge-Taylor, Tchaikovsky and Mozart conducted by Maestro Radu Paponiu.
Want to enhance your musical experience? Join Shaham and Paponiu prior to the concert for an exclusive pre-concert lecture and Q&A session!
Get your tickets NOW at

Friday | January 20, 2023

Symphony Admin Office

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