March 4, 2016 through March 16, 2016
Mizner Park Amphitheater 590 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432 (north end of Mizner Park) Mizner Park Cultural Arts Center 201 Plaza Real, Boca Raton, FL 33432 (south end of Mizner Park)
This eclectic annual gathering will once again feature the finest in music, dance, film and authors.
Highlights this year: violinist Joshua Bell, trumpeter Herb Alpert, circus act Cirque de la Symphonie, 12-year-old jazz piano prodigy Joey Alexander and Pulitzer- Prize finalist Laila Lalami, author of The Moore’s Account. This year’s movie to get the live-orchestra score treatment will be Raiders of the Lost Ark.
About the Festival
The Schmidt Family Centre for the Arts, a non-profit organization will present its Tenth annual Festival of the Arts BOCA March 4-16, 2016. Considered by critics to be “an important and impressive addition to the artistic landscape” – the Festival, held in Boca Raton, Florida, has won numerous awards including: the “Muse Award” from The Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, “Best Festival” by Boca Magazine and “Best Cultural Festival of 2014” from Palm Beach Illustrated. The Tenth Anniversary season will continue to feature the finest in classical music, jazz, dance, film and authors.
Established in 2007, the Festival of the Arts BOCA was designed to promote the cultural arts and to enrich the quality of life of the residents of Boca Raton, North Broward and Palm Beach County. As conceived by its founders, the Festival is more than just programming; it is a unique way of bringing world class performers, authors and speakers to Boca Raton which would be unattainable but for the special qualities of a serious cultural arts festival in a great wintertime destination.
The Festival celebrates the special quality of life in Boca Raton and Palm Beach County and the special qualities of Mizner Park, which was recently selected by the American Planning Association as one of the ten best urban places in the United States. The Festival is special, because of the venue, the season, the quality and diversity of its cultural offerings and because of the opportunity for young and old to celebrate the traditions of the great arts and to be exposed to the incredible diversity of the performing and literary arts, at the highest levels.
Since its inaugural year, the Festival has been an unprecedented cultural arts festival, and has been heralded as a resounding success, with artists such as Itzhak Perlman (four times), the Russian National Orchestra, Yefim Bronfman, Lang Lang, Vladimir Jurowski, Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway, Nina Kotova, Helene Grimaud and Yellowjackets. Other artists have included Grammy award winning soprano Renee Fleming (twice), soloists from the American Ballet Theater, pianist/composer Conrad Tao, and jazz extraordinaire Eldar Djangirov, the U.S. debut of Milos Karadaglic, a classical guitarist from Montenegro, Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn. Ballet Hispanico, the Jazz Roots production of Piano Latino (Eddie Palmieri, Michel Camilo and Alfredo Rodriguez and their bands), young stars of the Metropolitan Opera, Jackie Evancho, Forte, Time for Three; Valentina Lisitsa; Arturo Sandoval, Patti Austin and Tony DeSare; Poncho Sanchez; “The Wizard of Oz” and “Casablanca” and “West Side Story” performed with live orchestra. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band, KODO, Amadeus Leopold, Constantine Kitsopoulos, Boca Raton Symphonia, Cameron Carpenter, Valentina Lisitsa, Peter Oundjian, New World Symphony, and Audra McDonald.
World-renowned speakers over the seven years have included Edward Albee, David Ebershoff Anna Quindlen, Sir Salman Rushdie, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, acclaimed historian and Pulitzer Prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwin; Daniel J. Levitin, Richard Goodwin; David Brooks, Kevin Bleyer, Mika Brzezinski, Andrew Ross Sorkin, Barbara McDonald Stewart, David Ignatius, Anna Deavere Smith, Patricia Engel, Thomas Keneally, General George W. Casey, Jr., Geraldine Brooks, Michael Sandel, Clive Thompson, Siddartha Mukerjee Richard Ford and Thomas Friedman.
The Festival is special not just for the audience, but for the performers as well who appreciate the specialty of a festival and enjoy the opportunity to interact with other artists in a relaxed and convivial setting. The Festival tent, gleaming with festival lights, effects an uncommon sense of excitement and celebration in a casual environment which is comfortable to patrons who do not regularly attend concerts at more formal performing arts halls. And, the Festival is special because it is periodic and each year offers “something old and something new.”
The Festival of the Arts BOCA is also about cultural arts education – introducing new audiences to great music and exposing young people to the great artists in master classes and open rehearsals. The images are remarkable: Vladimir Jurowski conducting the student orchestra at the Dreyfoos School of the Arts, Sir James and Lady Jeanne Galway leading the best flute students in the region in a master class and performance entitled Flutewise, Tiempo Libre “teaching” the history of Latin jazz in words and music and the orchestra of Lynn University performing on stage with Tiempo Libre in the debut of a new composition at the Festival, Itzhak Perlman “doing a little Q & A” at the end of a chamber music concert where Perlman performed with students of the Perlman School of Music are just a few of the special moments that have been produced by the Festival. The Festival continues its commitment to education, offering master classes, lectures and open rehearsals to over 7,000 area students. In addition, over 1,000 Festival tickets are donated to students and teachers every Festival.
The Festival of the Arts BOCA has already made a significant contribution to the reputation of Boca Raton and Palm Beach County as a quality tourist destination in the face of increased competition from other tropical destinations including the west coast of Florida, the Caribbean and Central America, together with the changing character of South Florida. What the Festival of the Arts BOCA has done for Boca Raton and Palm Beach County is to establish a reputation as the home of a “best-of-class” cultural arts experience.