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CENTER FOR THE ARTS
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Now in its 23rd season, the Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples is Southwest Florida's premier performing arts hall, hosting more than 400 events a year including world-class theater, dance and classical and popular music. The Phil is also home to the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and the West Coast Florida home to Edward Villella's Miami City Ballet, which presents a series of three programs each season. The Phil's Resident Opera Company is Sarasota Opera, which performs each season with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra.
The three-story Naples Museum of Art, Southwest Florida's only full-scale art museum, opened on the Philharmonic Center campus in the fall of 2000.
The Phil also offers a full schedule of "Lifelong Learning" educational programs for people of all ages.
The 90,275-square-foot Philharmonic Center was built at a cost of $19.5 million and opened 95-percent debt-free in November 1989. Located on an 8.5-acre parcel in Pelican Bay, the Center was designed by renowned architect Eugene Aubry, whose credits include the Wortham Theater Center in Houston. Centerpiece of the Phil is the 1,425-seat Hayes Hall, which features a 2,956-square-foot stage.
The Center also includes the 283-seat Daniels Pavilion "black-box" theater, suitable for chamber music, cabaret, theater-in-the-round and other uses, as well as two sculpture gardens and four museum-quality art galleries.
The Center was founded by Myra Janco Daniels, a former Chicago advertising executive and educator with a long-standing interest in the arts. Daniels launched a fund-raising campaign in 1982 in order to support the Naples/Marco Philharmonic Orchestra, which eventually led to the construction of the Phil. The Philharmonic Center is now a $120+ million corporation. Daniels retired as The Center's CEO in 2011. Kathleen van Bergen became the Phil's CEO and President on September 1, 2011.
The 30,000-square-foot Naples Museum of Art houses a major permanent collection of American modernism and the largest collection of modern Mexican art in the Southeast. Among the artists featured in museum exhibitions: Andrew Wyeth, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Helen Frankenthaler, Hans Hofmann, Alice Neel and Paul Signac.
The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra has gained national and international recognition in recent years, playing with the world’s leading conductors and soloists and accompanying such legendary vocalists as Renée Fleming, Andrea Bocelli, Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Kiri Te Kanawa. In the summer of 2002, the ensemble was featured in a nationally televised PBS concert, A Century of Broadway, showcasing renowned mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. A second PBS concert, Fiesta at the Philharmonic, was broadcast nationally in December 2003.
In 1997, the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra had its first international CD release on the Telarc label. An earlier CD, recorded with the Manhattan Transfer, was nominated for a Grammy Award.
The 110-voice Philharmonic Center Chorale was founded in 1991 and a children's Youth Chorale was organized in 1998. The Philharmonic Youth Orchestra debuted in 2002.
In 2011-12, the orchestra celebrated its 30th-anniversary season.