Southwest Florida Symphony Gets a New Conductor

BY November 1, 2022
Radu Paponiu
Radu Paponiu takes over as musical director of Southwest Florida Symphony. (Photo by Scott McIntyre)

Southwest Florida Symphony has changed the game for classical musicians, hosting forward-thinking concerts that merge the styles of Beethoven with melodies from contemporary bands, such as Coldplay. And now, after a three-year search, the company found the ideal maestro to fill the music director role: Enter Radu Paponiu. Having worked with symphonies and orchestras across the globe, such as Romania’s Banatul Philharmonic and Colorado’s National Repertory Orchestra, Radu built a reputation with locals throughout his last five years as associate conductor and Youth Orchestra Director for Naples Philharmonic. You may recognize him as one of the main conductors for Artis—Naples’ Masterworks Series, where his expressive style stirs up the crowd and the musicians. 

Now, Radu leads Southwest Florida Symphony into its 62nd season, bringing the same lively energy to his new symphony’s Masterworks Series, which highlights a slate of visiting artists, including former members of English rock band Electric Light Orchestra in May. The series concludes with a collaborative concert with Bonita Springs’ Grand Piano Series in April. Expect to see classical renditions of Elton John and David Bowie in the Pops Series in January and February.

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