Violinist Itzhak Perlman has performed for presidents, royalty and audiences around the world. So when we announced the reigning virtuoso of the violin would open both the Boldt Arts Alive! Season and Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary Season, there was understandable excitement in the Fox Cities.
Bringing a musician of this caliber to the Fox Cities is accomplished because the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra are working together to make it so.
“When we discussed bringing Mr. Perlman to perform with the talented Fox Valley Symphony Orchestra, we knew our audiences would be in for a treat,” said Fox Cities P.A.C. President Maria Van Laanen. “We know this evening will provide an exceptional live experience that can truly inspire, transform and build our community.”
For the symphony, the timing couldn’t have lined up better. Celebrating the start of their 50th Season, Executive Director Jamie LaFreniere explained that their goal this season is to reach out and give back to the Fox Cities as a thank you for the many years of support. In addition to new programs, LaFreniere explained that the kickoff performance with Mr. Perlman is a gift for both the orchestra and the community to enjoy and celebrate together.
“To have this opportunity on our home stage, with our friends and family out in the audience, is a dream come true,” LaFreniere said. “But not just a dream for our musicians; we want this to be a memorable evening for our entire community. For our community to watch their orchestra grow and improve over the years and rise to a level where we share a stage with Itzhak Perlman is a great honor.”
LaFreniere cites having the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton as a key piece in bringing artists the caliber of Perlman to the area.
“We have a Broadway-class performance venue in the middle of our community! This is a gift many cities twice our size don’t get to enjoy! It allows us to elevate our concerts, our guest artists, and work with the Center on special community collaborations to enhance the opportunities for those on and off the stage,” LaFreniere said.
“It is also key to have such a wonderful symphony for guest artists to play with,” Van Laanen added. “The work the symphony does behind the scenes to ensure these opportunities are world class for both the artists and the community is crucial to the performances’ success and they always do a great job.”
Both groups agree that their collaboration works because of the immense community support for each organization coming together for an evening of unforgettable music.
“The community brought us here and made this possible! Without their support in our program and their love of our music and concerts, none of this would be happening,” LaFreniere said. “And it is happening right here, at home in the Fox Cities! You don’t need to travel to Chicago or Milwaukee to see the highest caliber performers. They are right here waiting for you.”