FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2022) – Southwest Florida Symphony audiences who attended MiniMasterworks Hurricane Benefit Relief Concerts this past weekend got a surprise sneak peek at the orchestra’s latest artistic leadership addition – its new concertmaster. The Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee County’s only professional orchestra and the fourth oldest in the state, is excited to announce the appointment of renowned violinist Orin Laursen as its new concertmaster. In this position, he will serve as the first chair violinist, leading the first violin section and orchestra, as well as acting as a musical liaison between the conductor and musicians.

“We are truly delighted to have Orin join our team,” said Amy Ginsburg, executive director of the Southwest Florida Symphony. “He will bring a fresh perspective and vast array of experience as a chamber musician and soloist to classical performances that will perfectly complement our exceptional team of musicians.”

Laursen has appeared on stages worldwide including Wigmore Hall in London, Jordan Hall and the Gardner Museum in Boston, Koerner Hall in Toronto, and the Kauffman Center in Kansas City, and has appeared as a soloist with the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra, the Royal Conservatory Orchestra and the Saint Petersburg Symphony Orchestra (RUS).

As a chamber musician, he coached extensively under collaborative artists Martin Lovett, Robert Mann, David Waterman and Joel Krosnick, as well as members of the Belcea, Tokyo, Artis and Brentano Quartets. Laursen also continues to attend seminars at Prussia Cove in Cornwall, where he has mentored with violinist András Keller and cellist Steven Isserlis.

A strong advocate of contemporary music, Laursen has worked with such eminent living composers as Harrison Birtwistle, Terry Riley, Unsuk Chin, Christian Wolff, Kati Agócs, Jan Radzynski and John Zorn. Additionally, he has collaborated with artists including Trevor Pinnock, Robert McDonald, Paula Robison, Richard Lester, Misha Amory, Steven Dann, Hsin-Yun Huang, the Borromeo String Quartet and conductor Gábor Takács-Nagy.

“I’m delighted to be taking up the role of Concertmaster with the Southwest Florida Symphony,” said Laursen. “I’ve had the privilege to perform chamber music with some of the core players, and I look forward to working with the full orchestra soon!”

The Southwest Florida Symphony made its debut as a community orchestra on April 15, 1961, playing in schools and community centers, with a roster of only 24 volunteer musicians. Today, the symphony boasts a roster of 70 world-class musicians, and is Lee County’s only fully professional orchestra. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 62nd year continues the orchestra’s tradition of artistic excellence as newly appointed Music Director Maestro Radu Paponiu leads his inaugural season of spectacular performances. Maestro Paponiu, the sixth music director in the organization’s history, also serves as the associate conductor and youth orchestra director for the Naples Philharmonic in addition to guest-conducting with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Symphony, upcoming season performances and subscription and ticketing information, visit swflso.org or call 239-418-1500.

Contacts:
Amy Ginsburg, Southwest Florida Symphony, 239-418-0996, aginsburg@swflso.org
Angela Bell, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758, Angela@gsma.pro