The Punta Gorda Symphony- performing classical and Hosting Pops performances in Punta Gorda.
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Hailed as “a rising star” by the Chicago press, “Ponti brings an exhilarating energy level to center stage. It’s an electrifying swagger—empowering and enabling him to pull music from light to darkness and back again. Fans worldwide say that his passion shows. It’s clear he has a tremendous zest for music, an exuberance recalling both the roar and rush of a roller coaster ride.”
The Daily Herald of Chicago writes, “A bold yet sensitive conductor, Ponti highlights Brahms interplay between the instruments, expertly balancing the sections – emphasizing the delightful winds and fine trombones while holding in check ESO’s formidable string section – to illustrate the multiple layers that make this work so sublime.”
David Kim, Concertmaster of the Philadelphia Orchestra, writes, “Maestro Ponti is first and foremost, a wonderful and natural musician.”
Henry Fogel, former President, Chicago Symphony writes, “Ponti’s conducting is expressive, clear, emotionally communicative – frankly all the things I look for in conductors…very impressive.”
Raffaele Ponti is Artistic Director and Conductor of the Paducah Symphony Orchestra (KY), Genesee Symphony Orchestra (NY), and continues to appear with prominent orchestras around the United States and Europe including return engagements with the Rochester Philharmonic, Syracuse Symphony, Austin Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, and debuts with the orchestras of Binghamton, Elgin, Billings, Utica, Schenectady, Southern Finger Lakes, New York All-State Orchestra, and the Kentucky All-State Orchestra. In Europe, the orchestras of Sofia, Varna, Pescara, Siena, and tours with Teatro Lirico d’europe and Italia Konzert Opera International, Italy’s largest touring Opera Company.
Raffaele has won the Mario Gusella International Conducting Competition in Pescara, Italy; awarded the Cleveland Institute of Music – Bernard Adelstein Award; The Cleveland Institute of Music – Artist Diploma; and named the Italian Musician of the Year.
Ponti is passionate about music and conducting and that passion shines through when he steps onto the podium, a living embodiment of “Connecting People to the Symphony.” A dynamic personality with excellent people skills makes Raffaele a favorite with everyone, orchestra, audience, board members, and sponsors, and his commitment to excellence is evident throughout his performances.
Raffaele’s deep knowledge of repertoire and resourcefulness reflects his outstanding and innovative programming that has become synonymous with collaborations with world class artists David Kim, Allen Vizzutti, David Halen, Michael Ludwig, Juana Zayas, Philippe Quint, Elena Urioste, Ettore Nova, and Ambra Vespasiani. POP artists, Paul Anka, Engelbert Humperdinck, Robert Goulet, Eartha Kitt, Eddie Fisher, and Tony Martin.
Raffaele’s musical studies began on violin, piano and trumpet. By age seventeen, he was performing in the trumpet section of the Rochester Philharmonic and two years later was asked to play assistant principal trumpet to Bernard Adelstein at the Cleveland Orchestra. He has worked with conducting greats Lorin Maazel, Yoel Levi, David Zinman and Sir Colin Davis. He studied conducting in Rome, Italy with Maestro Giuseppe Sinopoli.