BEST CONCERT SERIES
Amazing to think that what began 36 years ago as the Great Artists Series at Miami Beach's Temple Beth Sholom has evolved into one of South Florida's premier purveyors of classical music and dance. Founded and led by impresaria and onetime opera singer Judy Drucker, the Concert Association of Florida packs a two-county punch, filling the seats of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts with eager culture vultures by presenting the highest caliber of artists. Among the luminaries who have graced us with their presence just this past season: sopranos Kathleen Battle and Renée Fleming; violinist Itzhak Perlman; pianists Joseph Kalichstein, Evgeny Kissin, and Andre Watts; cellist Mstislav Rostropovich; and conductors Lorin Maazel and the New York Philharmonic and Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. And that's a just few names in the musical arena. Visiting dance companies have included Arthur Mitchell's Dance Theatre of Harlem, the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, and Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo. An outreach program wherein master musicians provide classes to local youngsters means that continuity of audience and players is somewhat assured. How to thank Drucker for zipping her aria-singing lips more than a generation ago and devoting herself to the cause of high culture in this town? A simple "Brava!" should suffice.
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