BOCA RATON, FL – The 9th Annual Festival of the Arts BOCA, presented by the Schmidt Family Centre for the Arts, will bring ten days of dazzling and diverse cultural experiences to South Florida March 6 – 15, 2015 at the Mizner Park Amphitheater, 590 Plaza Real and Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center, 201 Plaza Real (2nd Floor) in Boca Raton. This season’s Festival opens on March 6, 2015 with the Florida premiere of the ten time Academy Award winning film, West Side Story. Festival Orchestra Boca will play Leonard Bernstein’s electrifying score and memorable songs with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim live, while the newly re-mastered film is shown in glorious high definition on the big screen with the original vocals and dialog intact. This classic romantic tragedy, directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins and one of the greatest achievements in the history of movie musicals, features Robbins’ breathtaking choreography and a screenplay by Ernest Lehman based on the masterful book by Arthur Laurents. “The Festival will close with a spectacular concert featuring the Young People’s Chorus of New York in Beethoven’s immortal Ninth Symphony,” said Charlie Siemon, Chair and Co-Executive Producer of the Festival of the Arts BOCA. “Throughout the ten-day cultural celebration, festival-goers will enjoy a rich and diverse line-up as we bring back artists from years past and welcome some of the greatest intellectual leaders of our time.” Other highlights include a performance by husband and wife banjo duo Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn. Bela Fleck is a 10- time Grammy Award Winner and has been nominated in more categories than any other musician in Grammy history. Also scheduled are: Stars of International Ballet featuring Principal Dancer and Choreographer Guillaume Côté from the National Ballet of Canada & Friends; a Mozart Gala bringing together living legend of the flute, Sir James Galway (who performed at the inaugural Festival of the Arts BOCA in 2007), pianist Conrad Tao, who at 13 years old made his debut at the 2008 Festival, and Arnaud Sussmann, rising star violinist and protégé of the great Itzhak Perlman, with the Festival Orchestra Boca led by Constantine Kitsopoulos; and the Young People’s Chorus of New York and Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with Master Chorale of South Florida and Festival Orchestra Boca led by Kitsopoulos. This season’s compelling Authors & Ideas program brings some of the world’s greatest minds, with six Pulitzer Prizes among them, to South Florida, and a thought-provoking documentary. The program kicks off with a showing of “Girl Rising,” by Academy Award-nominated Richard E. Robbins. The piece journeys around the globe to witness the strength of human spirit and power of education to compel change. Author presentations include those by Jamie Bernstein, daughter of treasured composer Leonard Bernstein, accomplished narrator, writer and broadcaster; Michael Grunwald, best-selling author, senior staff writer for POLITICO magazine, editor-atlarge for The Agenda magazine, contributor to TIME Magazine, where he was senior national correspondent for seven years, who will speak about “Saving Paradise”; Richard Ford, best known for his Pulitzer Prize and Pen/Faulkner award-winning novel, Independence Day will present “Let Me Be Frank With You”; Physician, researcher and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer, Siddhartha Mukherjee; Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist, threetime recipient of the Pulitzer Prize, bestselling author of The World is Flat , and co-author of That Used to Be Us: How America Fell Behind in the World It Invented and How We Can Come Back; Lucinda Franks, author of memoir, My Father’s Secret War and Timeless: Love, Morgenthau and Me who will speak about “Love and Politics”; Martin Goldsmith, author of Alex’s Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance and, previously, The Inextinguishable Symphony; and Clive Thompson, renowned technology expert, longtime contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, columnist for Wired, will speak about his latest work Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better. Tickets for the 9th Annual Festival of the Arts BOCA range from $15 to $125 per person and are available at www.festivalboca.com or by calling (866) 571-ARTS (866-571-2787). Multi-event and full Festival packages are also available. About the Festival: Gearing up for its 9th season, the Festival of the Arts BOCA is an extraordinary, multi-day cultural arts event for South Florida. The Festival brings to its audiences the world’s most sought after jazz, classical performers and authors while simultaneously cultivating the stars of tomorrow. IMG Artists, a leader in worldwide cultural arts management and producer of world-renowned festivals from California to Singapore to Abu Dhabi, 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 2015.