Artistic Team

Conductors and Artistic Team

Naples Community Orchestra is pleased to feature four outstanding conductors including the guest appearance of Max Rabinovitsj to open the season on January 29. Following Max are, Naples Philharmonic Associate Conductor, Radu Paponiu, Florida Gulf Coast University Director of Orchestral Studies, Kyle Szabo, and Naples own Popular Music Star, Jodie DeSalvo.

To View the 2022 Rehearsal Schedule


Max Rabinovitsj - Artistic Director, Emeritus

Max Rabinovitsj brings a remarkable professional background to the podium. In Europe, he founded the Trio da Vinci, which toured extensively on that continent. He was Director of Festivals in Entrecasteaux, France and in Sintra and Evora in Portugal. Max debuted as a solo recitalist in New York City at Alice Tully Hall, in Lincoln Center, and performed the Bach Double concerto in Carnegie Hall with Isaac Stern. As a conductor, he became well known for his interpretations of the classical repertoire and his work with Youth Orchestras. He conducted great artists such as Rostropovich, Jaime Laredo, Gil Shaham, Viktoria Mullova, Maria Joao Pires, Davide Gueringas, Roger Pascal, Pierre Amoyal and many others. As soloist, Max has played under James Levine, Leon Fleisher, Max Rudolf, Thomas Mayer, Walter Susskind, Vladimir Goldschman, Jerzy Semkov, Lukas Foss, Claudio Scimone, Eleazar De Carvalho, Michel Tabachnik, and Philippe Bender.

Max has been a Professor at Washington University, the University of Texas and the University of Evora (Portugal). He has also taught at the Nice Conservatory (France) and Edgecliff Academy in Cincinnati. He met his wife Mary, a harpist, when they were both students at The Curtis Institute of Music.Becoming Artistic Director of Naples Community Orchestra fulfilled a lifelong passion for conducting.

On January 29, Max returns to Naples to conduct NCO’s 2022 Season Opener featuring Beethoven’s 7th Symphony and Isabelle Durrenberger, violin.

Radu Paponiu - Associate Conductor

Radu Paponiu is the Associate Conductor of the Naples Philharmonic and Director of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Since 2017, Radu has conducted the Naples Philharmonic in nearly forty different classical, education, and pops programs. As a guest conductor, Radu has appeared with the Transylvania State Philharmonic in Romania, Southwest Florida Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, North CarolinaSymphony, and National Repertory Orchestra. Radu has served as cover conductor on multiple occasions with the Dallas Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, and has assisted conductors including Andrey Boreyko, Iván Fischer, Stéphane Denève, Hans Graf, Donald Runnicles, Cristian Măcelaru, Bernard Labadie, and Leonidas Kavakos. A former faculty member of the Juilliard Pre-College Division, Radu continues his collaboration this season as conductor for the Southeast Asia Music Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard in Shanghai, China.
On March 5, Radu Paponiu conducts Mozart’s Symphony #41. Alexandra Carlson, piano Chopin.

Kyle Szabo - Orchestra Director

Conductor Kyle Szabo serves as Director of Orchestral Studies and Head of the String Area at the Bower School of Music, Florida Gulf Coast University. There, Szabo directs the Symphony, Chamber, and Philharmonia Orchestras, teaches violin, and runs the string chamber music program. He frequently travels throughout Florida as a clinician and adjudicator at competitions, and as a guest conductor with honors, all-state, professional and community orchestras. Szabo frequently performs as a violinist and chamber musician as well.
Szabo was previously a faculty member at Ripon College (Wisconsin) as Director of Orchestral Activities. Szabo earned a Doctorate in conducting at James Madison University, a Master of Music in violin performance from the Peabody Conservatory, and a Bachelor of Music in violin performance from Rutgers University.

On April 9, Kyle Szabo conducts the Gounod Symphony #1. Naples Philharmonic Principal Horn joins NCO for R. Strauss, Horn Concerto #1.

Jodie DeSalvo

Jodie DeSalvo has captured national and international attention with her classical and jazz interpretations of the masters of keyboard literature. Upon winning the Artist International Competition in 1988, Ms. DeSalvo made her Carnegie Hall debut to critical acclaim with an encore performance two years later at Lincoln Center. She has been a top prize winner in the Young Keyboard Artists Competition, the American Music Scholarship Competition and the National Federation of Music Clubs Competition. A graduate of the Hartt and Manhattan Schools of Music, and a former student of John Browning and Gary Graffman, she is also a past recipient of the Artist Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Ms. DeSalvo has toured extensively as piano soloist appearing with the orchestras of Chicago, Geneva, Lucerne, San Francisco, Hartford, and Chautauqua under the batons of noted Maestros Christopher Wilkins, David Effron and Gisele Ben Dor. Having called Fort Wayne her home for nine years, she has appeared with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic numerous times under the direction of Ron Ondrejka and Edvard Tchivzhel as well as serving as principal orchestral pianist. A frequent soloist with the Naples Philharmonic, she has appeared on the classical and pops series with Jorge Mester, Jeff Tyzik, Bruce Hangen., and Stuart Chafetz. A noted chamber player, Ms. DeSalvo has appeared with cellists Sharon and Keith Robinson, violinists Glenn Basham and Jennifer Frautschi, pianist Robert Wells, the Miami String Quartet, the Bergonzi String Quartet and members of the American String Quartet. She has performed at such prestigious festivals as Brevard, Chautauqua, and Birch Creek, where she has served as the piano faculty chair for the last twenty-two seasons. She has performed over 100 times on National Public Radio.

Ms. DeSalvo has become equally proficient as a conductor. Having built choral programs in several private and public schools, she has traveled twice with her high school chorus on an extensive tour of Italy during Easter week. The chorus performed in Venice, and Florence, and Siena, culminating in a performance in Rome on Easter Sunday. She returned to Italy and Greece the following season and also completed a concert tour throughout England and France. Last spring, Ms. DeSalvo performed with the chorus on a ten day tour of Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Italy and the group also returned to Carnegie Hall for a second command performance as part of the National Youth Choir.

Jodie DeSalvo loves to play the piano and loves to have fun, so it is within the last ten years that she has broadened her horizons on the concert stage by giving tribute concerts to the art of Victor Borge, renowned pianist/comedian. She has found great joy in interpreting some of his best loved skits, including Phonetic Punctuation and Inflationary Language, as well as writing some of her own original material. These concert performances are well loved and enjoyed by the older audiences who knew him, and the younger audiences who have grown to love his artistry and humor.
Ms. DeSalvo has recorded and produced 13 CDs of solo literature, chamber, and choral music, including three CD’S with Naples Philharmonic concertmaster Glenn Basham. This season, Jodie and Glenn are celebrating their thirtieth year together on the concert stage with two different performances at Artis Naples in January. Ms. DeSalvo has retired from her ten year position as Director of Fine Arts and Artistic Director of concerts at Seacrest Country Day School to concertize more extensively. Ms. DeSalvo’s recital/ lecture series at Artis-Naples is now in its fifteenth year and has sold out for the last eight seasons.

Ms. DeSalvo will conduct two performances of popular music on Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 31. The program features Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, American Favorites and Broadway star, Jonathan Zeng.

Boris Sandler - Concertmaster

Boris Sandler was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in the former U.S.S.R. and began playing violin at age 7. He was the first prize winner at the State Competition for young performers at age 16 and played Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky and Mozart violin concertos with the Tbilisi Symphony Orchestra. Sandler moved to the United States with his family in 1979 and began studies with Dorothy Delay at the Juilliard School. He then continued his studies at the Manhattan School of Music in New York where he received lessons with the concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, Glenn Dicterow. In 2007, Sandler took a sabbatical from the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra to play with a newly formed opera orchestra in Valencia, Spain under the direction of Lorin Maazel.

Since joining the Naples Philharmonic in 2001, Boris has performed frequently as a chamber musician and as a recitalist with his wife, pianist Bella Gutshtein. They are founders of the Estero

Concert Series, which marks its 9th anniversary this coming season.

This summer Boris played with the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder Co.

Sydney Mason Labbe - Principal Second Violin

Sydney Mason Labbe is a graduate of Stetson University and Western Michigan University, achieving her bachelor’s and master’s degrees, respectively, in violin performance. In 2009, Sydney went on tour to China with the Appalachian State University Symphony Orchestra and performed joint concerts with the Fudan University Orchestra at the Beijing and Shanghai Concert Halls. She has enjoyed principal positions in all University Orchestras she has performed with.

Sydney performs regularly with the Craig Turley Orchestras and has performed with noted musicians such as The Who, The Alan Parsons Project, Mannheim Steamroller, Frankie Valli, Weird Al Yankovic, and Ramin Djawadi, composer for Game of Thrones

Sydney currently sits principal second violin with the Naples Community Orchestra.

Patricia Vance – Principal Viola

Patricia Daly Vance has been a member of the Naples Community Orchestra viola section for three seasons. She also performs with The Camerata of Naples and enjoys playing chamber music with her Southwest Florida friends and colleagues.

Pat is also a longtime member of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in Connecticut. She is a founding member of the Mosaic Trio. As a string trio, they have created innovative multi-media programs to perform in inner city and rural schools, memory care facilities, art galleries, libraries, and other community outreach programs. For many years she was the Director of the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy Orchestra, where she established a new string program combining inner city and suburban students.

She completed her undergraduate degree at the Eastman School of Music and received her Master’s in Viola Performance at the Juilliard School, where she was a student of Lillian Fuchs. She enjoyed several wonderful summers at the Tangle wood and Aspen Music Festivals.

She is delighted to be a member of the Naples Community Orchestra which gives musicians a unique opportunity to play and provides our audience with an inspirational listening experience.

Diane Coffman - Principal Cello

Diane Coffman is a cellist well-versed in many genres of music. For several years she worked with the major arts entities in the San Francisco Bay area. She was a member of the Aspen Festival Orchestra in Aspen, Colorado. She was also invited to participate in the recording for a film sound track at the Industrial Light and Magic Production Studios at Skywalker Ranch in Novato, California. Diane served as Principal Cellist for the Artea Chamber Orchestra in San Francisco and as a soloist.

She has a Master’s Degree in Music Performance where she studied with Laszlo Varga at San Francisco State University. Her undergraduate studies gave her the opportunity to study with Peter Howard at Bowling Green State University and Joseph Gingold at Indiana University. Diane enjoys playing chamber music. She is a founding member of the Bella Musica Ensemble whose mission is to teach music history and present musical performances of Baroque to Modern music.

Franco Turchi - Principal Double Bass

Maestro Franco Turchi was born in Peicina, L’Aquila, Italy in 1949.

He began his musical studies in Toronto, Canada as a percussionist and in 1965 commenced his musical studies at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome. In 1974 he received his degree specializing in the double bass with Maestro Salvatore Pitsianti.

Throughout his career, Maestro Franco Turchi maintained an intense concert schedule in both symphony and chamber music with Solisti Aquilani, Musica Drol and Estro Armonico and as a founding member of the Orchestra Sinfonica Abbruzzese where he was the principal bass player from 1974 to 1980.

He also performed for 12 years with the National Italian Radio and Television Symphony Orchestra (RAI) as well as the Santa Cecilia Symphony Orchestra and the Rome Opera Theatre under the direction of many prestigious conductors including Georges Pretre, Yuri Ahronovitch, liah Inbal, Franco Ferrara. Leonard Bernstein and Zubin Mehta. He also performed for noted dignitaries, diplomats and heads of state.

Highlights in Maestro France Turchi’s career also indude concerts in major italian, European, North and South American cities. He was a member of the Union Musicisti di Roma specialising in recording soundtrack music for films mainly with Ennio Morricone and Ritz Ortolan among other well-known composers.

For 36 years Maestro Turchi was a faculty Chair Professor for Solfeggio & Dettato Muskale, of which the last ten years were with the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in Rome. For 15 years he conducted the Orchestra Mandolinistica Romana, a 28-member orchestra composed of the entire mandolin family instruments, classical guitar, harp and double basis. The Orchestra website is

On June 2nd 2003, he was conferred the title of Knight of the Republic of Italy by the Italian Prime Minister and President of Italy. In November 2012, he officially retired from his teaching position, but remains active as a double bass player.

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