Orchestra Returns For Miami City Ballet 25th Anniversary Season

MIAMIMiami City Ballet celebrates its 25th Anniversary Season with the return of live music and the Opus One Orchestra led by award-winning principal conductor Maestro Gary Sheldon. 

The orchestra returns to the ballet after an absence of almost two years, courtesy of a $900,000 challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge.

Orchestral accompaniment was cancelled halfway through the 2008-09 season due to lack of funding.  “The decision to cut the orchestra was obviously very difficult,” said Miami City Ballet Founding Artistic Director and CEO Edward Villella. “We were at a time where the company became the victim of a suffering economy. That we are thriving and celebrating our 25th Anniversary Season with the return of live music - it’s a win-win situation for our dancers, musicians and audiences.”

“The Opus One Orchestra will highlight the artistry of Miami’s world-class ballet, and create those magic moments that can bring South Florida together,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s Miami program director and vice president/arts.

Principal conductor Gary Sheldon’s arrival marks the beginning of a new chapter in Miami City Ballet’s repertory. He is considered one of the most versatile and multi-faceted conductor/composers in his field, an expert in the specialized style of conducting to accompany ballet, and will lead 42 and 56 musicians per ballet program, with four Company Premieres highlighted by the full-evening version of John Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet.  He comes to Miami City Ballet after conducting the San Francisco Ballet from 2004-09. 

Sheldon recently won The American Prize in Conducting, professional orchestra division. He is the Artistic Director for the Lancaster (Ohio) Festival Orchestra, a company he founded in 1988 and Principal Conductor for the Festival at Sandpoint in Idaho. He has guest conducted numerous symphony orchestras including the BBC Symphony, Montreal Symphony, Spoleto Festival and Sarasota and Palm Beach Symphonies and conducted for leading artists including Andre Watts, Ella Fitzgerald Itzhak Perlman and Wynton Marsalis. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School and studied with Leonard Bernstein at Tanglewood.

Tickets are now on sale for Miami City Ballet’s 25th Anniversary Season. Order now for best seating by calling (305) 929-7010 or toll-free (877) 929-7010, Monday through Friday 10am-5pm. Group discounts for 10 or more are available by calling (305) 929-7001 or toll-free 877-9001.  For more information, visit www.miamicityballet.org.

The Audrey Love Charitable Foundation is the Tri-County Presenter of Miami City Ballet’s 25th Anniversary Season.

About Miami City Ballet
Critically acclaimed by The New York Times, Miami City Ballet (MCB) was founded in 1985 by Artistic Director Edward Villella. The Company has 50 dancers, and a repertoire of 88 ballets which they perform in the four home counties of Broward, Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Collier, and around the world. MCB maintains its headquarters in Miami Beach in a facility designed by renowned architectural firm Arquitectonica. The facility houses rehearsal studios and administrative offices as well as the Company’s school: Miami City Ballet School.

Visit us at www.miamicityballet.org . You can also “like” us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.

MCB IS SUPPORTED IN PART BY AN AWARD FROM THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.  SPONSORED IN PART BY THE STATE OF FLORIDA, DEPARTMENT OF STATE, DIVISION OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS, AND THE FLORIDA COUNCIL ON ARTS AND CULTURE. FUNDING FOR THIS ORGANIZATION IS PROVIDED IN PART BY THE BROWARD COUNTY BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AS RECOMMENDED BY THE BROWARD CULTURAL COUNCIL.  MCB PROGRAMMING IS MADE POSSIBLE WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE MIAMI-DADE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND THE CULTURAL AFFAIRS COUNCIL, THE MIAMI-DADE COUNTY MAYOR AND BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS.  CITY OF MIAMI BEACH, CULTURAL AFFAIRS PROGRAM, CULTURAL ARTS COUNCIL.  MIAMI CITY BALLET HAS COMPLIED WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF CHAPTER 496, FLORIDA STATUTES, THE SOLICITATION OF CONTRIBUTIONS ACT.  OUR REGISTRATION NUMBER IS CH1034.  A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE (800) 435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

Media Contacts:
Roberto Santiago 
Miami City Ballet
(305) 929-7000, ext. 1602
rsantiago@miamicityballet.org

Sissy DeMaria
Shannon Casey
Kreps DeMaria
(305) 663-3543
sdemaria@krepspr.com
scasey@krepspr.com

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.