Matitiahu Braun (Photo credit: Chris Lee)

 Matitiahu Braun (Photo credit: Chris Lee)

                                  Holly Small

                                  Holly Small

Braun/Small Duo Launch Opera Season with Free Concert offering musical relief for the Central Florida Community

Who: Opera Orlando, violinist Matitiahu Braun, pianist Holly Small, soprano Elizabeth Ingram, baritone Chevalier Lovett 

What: The launch of “Love Lost and Found” – The 2017-2018 Opera Orlando Season

 Where and When: Park Lake Presbyterian Church- 309 E Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32801 September 17, 2017, 2:00 p.m. with a reception following the concert.  Admission is Free.

Opera Orlando is headed into its most ambitious season to date. To mark the official launch of the main-stage portion of the 2017-2018 season, heralded-violinist Matitiahu Braun and pianist Holly Small are donating their musical services for a free concert on Sunday, September 17 at 2 pm at Park Lake Presbyterian Church located at 309 E Colonial Drive in downtown Orlando. Soprano Elizabeth Ingram and baritone Chevalier Lovett will add some operatic spice to this chamber music concert.                  

“We’ve been excited to have artists such as Mati (Matitiahu) and Holly play for our fans, board and members,” explained Lovett, who also serves on the Opera Orlando Board of Directors as 2nd Vice President - Development. “And with the damage left behind by Hurricane Irma, we want this to be an opportunity for people in our region to come, enjoy some great music, and join us as we celebrate our new season. The concert will provide a welcome dose of beauty during this time of recovery. We are so excited to provide this opportunity for the community."

Braun has had a remarkable career. The Israeli-born violinist and violist came to America in 1962 to study violin at the Juilliard School with Joseph Fuchs and was the recipient of the prestigious Naumburg Prize. He went on to join the New York Philharmonic, a position he held from 1969 until 2006. He also served as Principal and Solo Violist with the Dallas Symphony in the late 1970s. He moved to Central Florida in 2006 after retiring from the Philharmonic.

“I’ve never stopped playing, loving or teaching the violin,” said Braun. “Only now, I get to choose where and when I pick up the bow. Opera Orlando has a program I’ve admired, so the chance to make a contribution to what they are up to pleases me greatly.”

Holly Small was headed toward a professional career as a pianist working with Orlando Opera and the Messiah Choral Society when she chose to earn a steady income. This she accomplished by working in medical transcription. “I never really gave it up,” she explained. “When the time was right about a decade ago, I got back to teaching and performing. My chance to make music with Mati has been the true frosting on the cake.”

The concert includes music by Kreisler, Vivaldi and Jean Alard: two fantasies on operatic melodies. Mozart and Puccini will be performed by the vocalists.

There will be open seating and plenty of seats for all. Additional information on the concert and the 2017-2018 Opera Orlando season is available online at or by calling 407-512-1900.