Maestro Raffaele Ponti
Maestro Raffaele Ponti
The 2016 – 2017 season is Maestro Ponti’s fourth as Music Director of our Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, which has grown and flourished under his leadership. His superb musicianship and dynamic personality have attracted professional musicians and guest artists from around the world, resulting in sold-out concerts for the past two seasons.
Ponti’s professional career began at an early age. At seventeen, he performed in the trumpet section of the Rochester Philharmonic and two years later, he became assistant principal trumpet to Bernard Adelstein of the Cleveland Orchestra.
He is the former Principal Conductor and Music Director of the Italia Konzert Opera International, where he continues as a regular Guest Conductor. For ten seasons, he served as Conductor of Education and Outreach with the Austin Symphony. Currently, he appears with prominent orchestras around the United States and Europe. He is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Paducah Symphony in Paducah, Kentucky and Director of Orchestral Studies at Florida International University.
Maestro Ponti is a champion of music education in the community and is responsible for the establishment of the orchestra’s “Symphony Kids” program, which includes Maestro Visits to every third grade class in Charlotte County each season, culminating in a free Youth Concert. His community outreach also extends to adults, with pre-concert classes and his innovative program “The Symphony as a Business Model” which has attracted new businesses and patrons to the orchestra.
His drive and vision on the podium, as well as in the community have led the symphony to earn the prestigious Charlie award for “Outstanding Achievement in the Arts”, Florida Weekly’s “Best” and Harbor Style Magazine’s Best Performing Arts” organization. Last year, he was honored with a Proclamation given by the Mayor and City Council Members of Punta Gorda.
Raffaele Ponti’s reviews have dubbed him a “rising star”, “charismatic”, “electrifying”, “empowering” and his audiences agree. We in Southwest Florida are indeed fortunate that he has made this his home.
Maestro Ponti was named a “Leader of Distinction” by the Florida Weekly in September 2014
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