The old Parrot Jungle is now Pinecrest Gardens, and the Banyan Bowl (where the bird shows were performed) has been restored to an acoustically perfect gem. When the opportunity presented itself, the Mayor and Village Commissioners made a commitment to their constituents to preserve Pinecrest Gardens as an arts park and included the restoration of the Banyan Bowl in the master plans. Elaine Rinaldi’s proudest and happiest moments as Artistic Director of Orchestra Miami was performing the company’s first free concert in the Banyan Bowl on March 9, 2011.

Since then, Orchestra Miami has performed many concerts at the Banyan Bowl, and is now the official Resident Orchestra of Pinecrest Gardens. 2015 will mark the Orchestra’s fourth anniversary at the Banyan Bowl and will celebrate the occasion with its annual free concert “Beethoven in the Bowl” on Sunday, March 8th at 7 p.m., performing music by Bartok, Holst, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven.

Rinaldi’s experiences of performing at the Garden and her personal love and interest in Miami’s history led her to begin a new series called “Discover Miami through Music”, where Orchestra Miami presents appropriately themed concerts in Miami’s historic landmarks and other places of interest. Through music, people are encouraged to experience and learn more about their community’s collective history in a fresh surrounding.

Orchestra Miami’s first “Discover” concert – Masonic Mozart” at the Kiehnel and Elliott’s 1922 designed Scottish Rite Temple on the Miami River, one of Miami’s least known landmarks – was wildly successful. This April, the second “Discover” concert will revisit a landmark – The Biltmore Hotel – that even though it is one of Miami’s most iconic structures, many locals have never really visited.  Apropos, Orchestra Miami will partner with the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables that will host an event after the concert to raise funds in support of its mission to promote the understanding and importance of historic resources and their preservation.

The Biltmore Hotel

The Biltmore Hotel, built during the 1920s “Jazz Age”, will be the perfect venue to celebrate the Jazz Era with a full orchestra. In 1924, young land developer Merrick joined forces with Biltmore hotel magnate John McEntee Bowman at the height of the Florida land boom to build “a great hotel.” Bowman contracted with renowned architect Leonard Schultze and S. Fullerton Weaver, a contractor and developer. The team had already designed the Atlanta and Los Angeles Biltmores, New York City’s Grand Central Terminal, Miami Beach’s Nautilus Hotel (later the first location of Mt. Sinai Medical Center) and the famed Miami Daily News Tower (now known as the Freedom Tower).

On January 15, 1926, The Biltmore hotel debuted with a magnificent inaugural ceremony that promised to be the social event of the year. With the Jazz Age at full cry, the Biltmore’s big bands entertained wealthy, well-traveled visitors to this American Riviera resort.

The upcoming Biltmore orchestra concert will consist of jazz-influenced masterpieces, such as Copland’s gorgeous Concerto for Clarinet (with Richard Hancock, soloist), A Jazz Symphony by George Antheil (originally composed in 1927), the Jazz Suite N.1 by Shostokovich and much more.

At the 1926 gala opening of the Miami Biltmore Country Club, Dr. Frank Crane predicted, “Many people will come and go, but this structure will remain a thing of lasting beauty.” Dr. Crane’s prediction came true in 1996, when the National Register of Historic Places designated The Biltmore a National Historic Landmark, an elite title offered to only three percent of all historic structures.

DISCOVER MIAMI THROUGH MUSIC AT THE BILTMORE Presented by Orchestra Miami in association with the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables

Take a step back in time to the early days of the City Beautiful – the fabulous Biltmore Hotel opened on January 15, 1926, hosting celebrities and the leading socialites of the day. Throughout the Jazz Age, the Biltmore Hotel was the most fashionable resort in the entire country. Orchestra Miami proudly presents a program filled with music celebrating the Jazz Age and the rich history of this gorgeous locale.  

Reserved seating is available as well as VIP seating. VIP tickets are available and include a private reception during intermission and an exclusive post-concert reception with the artists on the Granada Ballroom Terrace. All proceeds from the VIP tickets to benefit Orchestra Miami and the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables.

Where: The Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave., Coral Gables When: Apr. 26 at 4 p.m. Tickets: $30 -$50 Reserved Seating, $150 VIP Tickets

Elaine Rinaldi is Founding Artistic Director of Orchestra Miami
Karelia Martinez Carbonell is President of the Historic Preservation Association of Coral Gables