In 12 short years the Key West Symphony Orchestra has become world renowned, mostly due to the talents of their music director and conductor, Sabrina Maria Alfonso. Born and raised in Key West, Sabrina had a yearning to bring orchestral music to the island she loves. When Sabrina started the symphony in 1998 she realized a different model was needed, so she developed one that brought together musicians from a pool of over 150 from other orchestras all over the Unites States and combined that with soloists from around the world. The symphony not only performs some of the world’s greatest masterpieces, but Maestra Sabrina likes to infuse music from exciting contemporary composers.
Sabrina made her New York debut conducting the American Symphony Orchestra at the finals of the Stokowski International Competition in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center. She was announced the clear winner by the audience poll. In 2002 Sabrina became the first Cuban American conductor invited to conduct Cuba’s premier orchestra, where she received standing ovations from the standing room only crowd. Since then she has returned to Cuba many times. She has been guest conductor for numerous orchestras and has worked with most of the greats she is also a featured conductor with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra of American Composers.
After 12 fabulous years in Key West the Symphony decided to expand to Fort Lauderdale, where the audience for classical music is much larger. It was an easy decision since Sabrina has family in Fort Lauderdale and has been coming back and forth for years. According to Sabrina, “We are not leaving Key West, we are expanding our musical reach so we can continue to provide to Key West the same level of excellence, and passion, and virtuosity they have come to expect of the Key West Symphony Orchestra.”
Shortly after making the decision Sabrina met Entrepreneur Jacqueline Lorber and they immediately clicked. Jacqueline, who has lived primarily in South Florida since 1971, was made CEO. She has since secured an office for the Symphony at the Josephine S. Leiser Opera Center in the heart of the Arts and Entertainment District in downtown. She has also started an intense marketing campaign letting everyone know that the orchestra will now have performances in Fort Lauderdale. According to Jacqueline, “Everyone I talk to is so thrilled that the cultural landscape is going to be expanded in Fort Lauderdale.”
The Key West Symphony will be performing 3 single night performances of each Master Concert at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts. The first will be on Thursday, December 17th and feature Cho-Liang Lin; the second will be on Saturday, January 16th and feature Jin Hi Kim (Monk Dance, Korean Drums) and Ittai Shapira on Violin and the last performance of the season will be on Friday, April 23rd and feature Christopher Taylor on Piano. For tickets to any of these sure to be fabulous performances call the Broward Center box office at 954-462-0222 or go to www.BrowardCenter.org
The Symphony’s ultimate goal is to achieve a close to neutral revenue cost ratio for their Master Concert Series while building their long term endowment through corporate donors, benefactors and auxiliary activities.