Boca Raton Symphonia finds ‘new directions’ this year; Performing at Crest Theatre, honoring women in music


By: Dale King
Contributing Writer

The Boca Raton Symphonia will take a couple of roads less traveled when it opens its season of performances in December.

South Florida’s world-class chamber orchestra has announced that its 2019-2020 Marlene Forkas Connoisseur Concert Series will celebrate women in music.

The group will also launch its ‘New Directions’ theme, a casual concert series, at the Crest Theatre at Old School Square in Delray Beach. Fresh, hip and culturally-cool with an untraditional twist, New Directions will combine classical music with theatrical and visual elements, all presented in an entertaining, insightful and fun way.

Each show will feature either a female guest conductor and/or soloist or works created by female composers. “Women have made, and continue to make, incredible contributions to classical music, and we are just thrilled to have an opportunity to showcase these talented artists,” said Annabel Russell, Symphonia’s executive director.

The schedule features:

3 p.m. Dec. 8, guest conductor Alastair Willis with Robyn Marie Lamp, soprano soloist, with music by Copland, Barber, Wagner and Respighi.

3 p.m. Jan. 5, guest conductor Carolyn Kuan with violist soloist Daniel Andai. Featured music is by Assad, Haydn and Mendelssohn.

3 p.m. Feb. 9, guest conductor James Judd with violin soloist Elissa Lee Koljonen and cello soloist Yumi Kendall, FEBRUARY 9, 2020 at 3 p.m. Music by Zwilich and Beethoven.

3 p.m. March 29, guest conductor Laura Jackson with piano soloist Marika Bournaki. Music by Brittten and Beethoven.

The Marleen Forkas Connoisseur Concert Series is held at Roberts Theater at Saint Andrew’s School, 3900 Jog Road. All include a pre-concert Conversation with the conductor at 2 p.m.

Season tickets and information on programs is available at or by calling 561-376-3848 or emailing

As to the ‘New Directions’ series, Russell said: “Classical music concerts shouldn’t feel intimidating. We wanted to make this amazing music accessible to new audiences in a comfortable and interactive environment, and present classical music in a unique and informative way that’s really fun!”

The series will be conducted by Grammy-nominated Alastair Willis. A brilliant musician, he is known for his strong podium presence and engaging and attractive personality. His appearances with The Symphonia are audience favorites.

New Directions concerts at the Crest Theatre.

7:30 p.m., Dec. 10, “Lights, Camera, Action!” with Alastair Willis, principal conductor. Music by Copland, Wagner and Respighi. In this program, music and artistry will be intertwined with movies, gifts, and frescos.

7:30 p.m. April 21, “Bach at Crest,” with Willis as principal conductor.

In this program, J.S. Bach, as portrayed by Alastair Willis, will share insights on his personal and professional life at court in Köthen, Germany

For tickets to New Directions concerts, call 561-243-7922 or visit