“I’m so grateful candlelight is here” Gulf Coast Symphony fills venue with thousands of candles

Reporter: Jacquelyn Kisic
Published: Updated:

Gulf Coast Symphony holds Candlelight concerts in an effort to introduce classical musicians and string quartets to the community in a unique atmosphere.

A performance like no other in Southwest Florida, with the region growing size, the Listeso String Quartet performed their unique performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons Infront of 300 people.

The Four Seasons was written by Italian composure Antonio Vivaldi nearly 300 years ago in 1720.

Sunday night’s performance, held at the Music & Arts Community Center, featured two violins, a cello, and a viola, all from the Listeso String Quartet.

One of the members of the String Quartet, Katrina Rozmus, is considered violin player number 2 in the group of four. Rozmus started playing violin at the age of 6 but stopped to continue dancing. At the age of 13, she picked up the instrument again and never looked back.

As someone who grew up in Fort Myers, Rozmus said she felt she needed to leave the area when she was younger to have more opportunities in the arts. Now, with the region growing daily, she feels that’s no longer the case and is happy to perform at home.

“I felt like I need to be in a bigger city, in order to have more opportunities. But I’m so grateful that candlelight is here” said Rozmus, β€œWe enjoy them so much and the audience enjoys them so much. We just feed off of each other. I just think that it’s one of the best things.” 

The CEO and Music Director of the Gulf Coast Symphony, Andrew Kurtz, explained how bringing a production like the candlelight concerts is huge for the area.

“Generally, these experiences are limited to the bigger cities Miami, Tampa, Orlando,” said Kurtz, “When they chose to move into the Fort Myers market, they felt that we could support it. And in fact, we have exceeded their expectations. About one or two shows have been completely sold out.”

Kurtz said that the group of four performers is “flexible” when it comes to scheduling and rotating in and out different performers. Many of the group members live in the Southwest Florida region or Miami.

“They do it in a number of cities in Florida, they may have different people each time.” said Kurtz, “t’s always four of, I’d say, the highest quality performers.”

More than 6,000 battery-operated candles surrounded the venue. Kurtz said that for Sunday night’s performance, the crew added about 1,000 blooming flowers for the first time to bring a pop of color. Crew members from the Symphony said setting up the stage took more than four hours to prepare.

“It’s really very smart, it allows you to sort of go into this magical world because there’s not the other distractions” said Kurtz “Pretty much what you’re able to see is the quartet, performing on the stage, it’s giving just enough light that you can see the players and you can hear the music.”

Kurtz said the Candlelight performances are showcased in 180 cities worldwide, with more than 3 million people attending annually. Kurtz and those at Gulf Coast Symphony want to expose the community to classical music.

“This is a first great introduction to classical music or music being performed by a string quartet,” said Kurtz. That’s kind of the purpose of these candlelight concerts: to introduce the community to a string quartet.”

Kurtz says he signed a deal with the outside company for the Candlelight concerts to come to Fort Myers twice a month until June 2025.

The next Candlelight performance will be held on Saturday, June 22, at the Music & Arts Community Center in Fort Myers. It is located at 13411 Shire Lane, Fort Myers, off of Daniels Parkway.

Those who would like to attend the concert must be 8 years old or older. An adult must accompany anyone under the age of 16.

The hour-long Candlelight concert will be a tribute to Adele, there will be two performances at 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. To purchase tickets, click here.

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