8th Annual Festival of the Arts Boca Brings “Greatest of the Greatest” to South Florida March 6-10

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The Festival of the Arts Boca, set for March 6th – March 15th, 2014, will assemble the biggest parade of stars in the event’s eight-year history at the Schmidt Family Centre for the Arts at the Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real and Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center, 201 Plaza Real (2nd Floor) in Boca Raton, Florida. “This season’s Festival of the Arts Boca promises to be our best ever,” said Charles L. Siemon, Chair & Co-Executive Producer. “The stellar line-up, compelling programming and international appeal makes this a cultural attraction anyone in the world would want to attend.” The Festival will offer a rich variety of exciting programs exploring the full range of the performing arts. Violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman will open the festival on Thursday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mizner Park Amphitheater, accompanied by Festival Orchestra Boca under the direction of Festival Music Director Constantine Kitsopoulos. Perlman will return to the Festival stage on Sunday, March 9 at 7 p.m. for the Florida premiere of his new program of traditional Jewish and Klezmer music with celebrated Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot, Eternal Echoes: Songs and Dances for the Soul. “To see Itzhak Perlman live is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” said Charlie Siemon, chair and co-executive producer of the Festival of the Arts Boca. “This will be Mr. Perlman’s third return to our Festival where he will perform the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and also present ‘Eternal Echoes,’ a musical and cultural treat for everyone.” Undeniably the reigning virtuoso of the violin, Perlman enjoys superstar status rarely afforded a classical musician. Beloved for his charm and humanity as well as his talent, he is treasured by audiences throughout the world who respond not only to his remarkable artistry, but also to his irrepressible joy for making music. Dance will be brought back to the Festival this season with one of America’s leading dance troupes, the Bill T. Jones/ Arnie Zane Dance Company. Bill T. Jones, as the founder and leader of the Company, has been the recipient of many awards, including the MacArthur Genius Award, one of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors, two Tony Awards, and countless commissions from international dance and ballet groups. The blazing, technically flawless Cuban-born trumpeter, Arturo Sandoval will return to the Festival stage in 2014 in a tribute concert to his mentor, Dizzie Gillespie, with special guest Monica Mancini and the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra. Sandoval is one of the world’s most acknowledged guardians of jazz trumpet and flugel horn, as well as a renowned classical artist, pianist and composer. As one of the most dynamic and vivacious live performers of our time, Sandoval has been awarded 9 Grammy Awards, and nominated 19 times; he has also received 6 Billboard Awards and an Emmy Award. The latter for his composing work on the entire underscore of the HBO movie based on his life, “For Love or Country,” starring Andy Garcia. Following last year’s smash success of the Peking Acrobats, the Festival of the Arts Boca is bringing a spectacular and innovative program that is sure to delight the whole family: Cirque de la Symphonie, combining the best elements of cirque and symphonic music, with some of the most amazing veterans of today’s cirque programs – aerial flyers, acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancers, and strongmen – accompanied by the Festival Orchestra BOCA under Constantine Kistopoulos. The Festival of the Arts Boca will close in spectacular fashion with the Florida premiere of today’s newest and most exciting singing group, the multicultural, operatic tenor trio Forte whose performances on America’s Got Talent captivated millions and launched the group into the national spotlight. It’s hard to imagine the members of Forte were complete strangers a few months ago. Having met just days before their first audition for America’s Got Talent, the trio mesmerized millions on the eighth season of the reality competition series. Solo artists in their own right, Josh Page, Sean Panikkar and Fernando Varela combine their individual talents to create one incredible, multicultural vocal force. Josh Page answered his musical calling in 2011, after randomly being pulled on stage by Josh Groban to duet with the superstar at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. He has since been invited to fill in for Andrea Bocelli at rehearsals and joined former America’s Got Talent contestant Jackie Evancho on tour as a guest. Sean Panikkar, whose parents are from Sri Lanka, never dreamed of a career in opera. In fact, he enrolled in the engineering program at the University of Michigan. Opera gradually became a bigger part of Panikkar’s life, and after college, the singer performed with several prestigious institutions, including the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera. Raised in Puerto Rico, Fernando Varela was discovered on YouTube by hitmaker David Foster and ultimately won Foster’s “Born To Sing” contest. Varela’s global performances span some 31 countries, including a performance in Monte Carlo, Monaco with Maestro Giancarlo Chiaramello (conductor for the late Luciano Pavarotti), the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra in Canada and the National Symphony at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. Headlining this season’s Authors & Ideas Program is Doris Kearns Goodwin, acclaimed presidential historian, who is returning to the Festival for the fourth time to speak about Theodore Roosevelt and her new book The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism. Goodwin will be joined by Anna Deavere Smith, award winning actress currently starring in Nurse Jackie, author and creator of a new form of theater will bring to the Festival the same creativity she has brought to the Aspen Institute and many other venues. Her topic will be “Reclaiming Grace in the Face of Adversity” with her unique presentation combing lecture and acting out personalities. James Fallows, award winning national correspondent for the Atlantic, author of 10 books, most recently China Airborne: the Test of China’s Future will speak about “How Should We Think About China?” Dr. Daniel Levitin, best-selling author of This Is Your Brain On Music and The World in Six Songs has consulted on audio sound source separation for the U.S. Navy, and on audio quality for several rock bands and record labels (including the Grateful Dead and Steely Dan), and served as one of the “Golden Ears” expert listeners in the original Dolby AC3 compression tests. Barbara Schmidt, businesswoman, philanthropist and spiritual teacher, will discuss Vicktor Frankl’s “Man Searching for Meaning.” Schmidt is the founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, the Giving Network and co-founder and past president of Ronald McDonald Children Charities of South Florida. And Geraldine Brooks, Pulitzer Prize winning author of March and other books, including most recently Caleb’s Crossing and People of the Book will lend a different perspective to the Festival. For the first time ever, the Festival will be offering an extraordinary Early Bird Special with all tickets at $39 for events at the Amphitheater, regularly priced up to $125, through December 31, 2013 (quantities limited). Prior ticket buyers will also have priority access to preferred seating at a 20% discount off regular prices. Remaining tickets will go on sale at regular prices starting on January 1 or when the Early Bird Tickets sell out. About the Festival: Celebrating its eighth season, the Festival of the Arts Boca is a world-class, multi-day cultural arts event for South Florida. The Festival brings to its audiences the world’s most sought after jazz and classical performers and authors while simultaneously cultivating the stars of tomorrow. IMG Artists, the leader in worldwide cultural arts management and producer of several world renowned festivals in locations ranging from Tuscany to Abu Dhabi, Singapore, Rio de Janeiro and California, is once again collaborating with the Schmidt Family Centre for the Arts at Mizner Park in the planning and execution of Festival of the Arts Boca 2014. For more information call 561-368-8445 and to purchase tickets visit www.festivaloftheartsboca.org or call 866-571-ARTS.